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Russia mulling grain export quota

Russia’s Agriculture Ministry said on March 27 it has proposed setting up a quota for Russian grain exports at 7 million tonnes for April through June, in a bid to protect the domestic supply as coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads.

Russia, the world’s largest exporter of wheat, mainly to the Middle East, Africa and Asia, had only 1,306 cases of COVID-19 with three deaths as of March 26.

The proposal is yet to be approved by the government, which asked the agriculture ministry earlier this week to prepare proposals on whether exports of any food should be limited due to the spread of the virus.

The measure, if approved by the government, would cover the main grain types — wheat, rye, barley and corn, the ministry said in a statement, adding that it would help ensure stability in the domestic food market.

Russia exported 25.2 million tonnes of wheat, rye, barley and corn in the July-December 2019 period. Between Jan. 1 and March 26, its export total was 7.2 million tonnes, the ministry said.