Russia Halts Grain Exports

According to Bloomberg News, Russia stopped exporting grain last week, suspending shipments to all customers. Russia’s main wheat buyers are Turkey, Iran and Egypt.

Traders have contracts to deliver worldwide more than 3 million metric tons of Russian grain through January. Grain shipments stopped Dec. 18, said Arkady Zlochevsky, president of the union. As a result, Russia may fail to supply wheat to Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), the state buyer of the world’s largest wheat importer, in January

Last week Russia said that it plans to introduce grain export duties, the latest step in an effort to reduce overseas shipments after the ruble plunged and food prices increased. While the country has said it won’t stop exports, the government has blocked cargoes by denying certificates that grain sellers and buyers need after sanitary inspections, and state-owned Russian Railways Co. halted deliveries to ports for exports last week.

Zlochevsky criticised the decision to impose restrictions for the third time in six years. Russia imposed a duty on wheat exports in 2008 and an official ban in 2010 when a drought hit its crop.

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