Russian gov. sows confusion with talk of grain quota export ban

14 Mar 2022 | Masha Belikova

The Russian government is expected to implement an export ban for all grains outside of the existing quota, including wheat, corn and barley, from tomorrow through to August 31, trade sources have told Agricensus Monday.

Export from within the current 11 million mt quota for grains, which includes an 8 million mt allowance for wheat, will still be possible via licenses that have already been officially distributed to exporters.

“This is a complete ban, including exports to the Eurasian Economic Union, but within quotas, it’s still possible,” one trader said, with industry sources voicing confusion over whether the measure would have any practical impact.

“We have approved the acts submitted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to ban the export of white and raw sugar from the Russian Federation until August 31, as well as wheat, meslin, rye, barley and corn until June 30 of this year,” Victoria Abramchenko, the country’s deputy prime minister was quoted as saying by local media.

“The export of grain within the quota under separate licenses will be allowed,” the minister said.

Agricensus contacted the agriculture ministry for comment, but had received no response by the time of publication.

The news comes after the Russian government said last week that it will consider temporarily banning the export of wheat, corn and barley within the Eurasian Economic Union in a bid to prevent re-exports of Russian grains through neighboring countries.

Export within the EEU do not fall under the restrictions of the export quotas or taxes, while for export outside the bloc the wheat tax for March 16-22 was set at $86.30/mt, with corn at $54.10/mt and barley at $77.40/mt.

Any grain exports above the quota used to be subject to an additional tax of 50% of the custom’s costs, but would be not less than €100/mt.

However, as per Agricensus’s understanding, above-quota exports are not allowed at all.