Home MOREBUSINESS & ECONOMY Russia bans grain and sugar exports to ex-Soviet countries “to protect the domestic food market” as sanctions bite

Russia bans grain and sugar exports to ex-Soviet countries “to protect the domestic food market” as sanctions bite

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Russia sanctions

After a bad crop, and with Russia now largely isolated from international markets, Moscow has temporarily banned grain exports to ex-Soviet countries along with most sugar exports, Reuters reports.

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter with Egypt and Turkey among the main buyers. It competes mainly with the European Union and Ukraine.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday signed an order banning the export of white and raw sugar until August 31st, and banning wheat, rye, barley and maize exports to neighbouring Eurasian Economic Union states until June 30th.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko, however, said the export of grain within the quota under individual licences would continue to be allowed.

Moscow last week voiced concern about the quick pace of its grain exports to neighbouring ex-Soviet countries, with which it shares free customs zones under the Eurasian Economic Union. Supplies to the union are not subject to Russia’s grain export quotas and current taxes.

The measures were adopted “to protect the domestic food market in the face of external constraints,” the government statement said.

European wheat prices rose on Monday after Interfax news agency reported on Russia’s bank on grain exports. It did not initially mention the exclusions from the ban.

The government made no mention of the export licenses in its statement either, but said that international transit of grain via the Union would be allowed.

Russian wheat exports are already down by 45% since the start of the current July-June marketing season because of a smaller crop, grain export taxes, and the export quota set at 11 million tonnes of grain, including 8 million tonnes of wheat.

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