Russia extends wheat export ban

Russia will extend its ban on wheat exports to at least next year’s harvest possibly having a knock-on effect for global feed and meat prices.

Wheat for December delivery rose five cents yesterday (Thursday) to settle at $7.1375 a bushel, after hitting a two-year high earlier in August when the Russian ban was imposed, the Associated Press has reported.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he extended the ban to make sure the crops recover after devastating drought and wildfires destroyed about 20% of this year’s crop. The ban also covers wheat flour, barley, rye and corn.

He said: “I believe that we must make clear that we can examine the cancellation of the ban on grain exports only after next year’s harvest is gathered and there is clarity regarding grain levels. There should be no frantic movement here.”

Putin added that the ban was extended to “provide stability and predictable conditions for all market participants”.

Russia has experienced a record heatwave this year, described as the country’s worst drought in half a century.

Heat, drought and fire have damaged Russian agriculture, which accounts for about 4% of Russia’s gross domestic product, according to Moscow-based VTB Capital. Twenty nine crop-producing regions have declared a state of emergency.

Total crop losses in 18 regions amount to 37.1bn Rubles ($1.2bn) according to regional estimates and 26.1bn Rubles according to the Agriculture Ministry, RIA Novosti has reported.

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