DHAKA, BANGLADESH — A day after Russia announced that it was considering curbing grain exports during the next six months, Bangladesh Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak told Reuters that the country may increase its imports from Ukraine if Russian wheat becomes unavailable.
Russia said on Jan. 15 it was looking to set a non-tariff quota for grain exports of 20 million tonnes for the first half of 2020.
“This kind of restriction is unfortunate,” Razzak told Reuters.
The Russian government has not yet approved the Russian agriculture ministry’s proposal.
Bangladesh, which is heavily dependent on grain imports to feed its population of 165 million, is the third largest buyer of Russian wheat.
Russia, which in recent years has become the world’s largest wheat exporter, said the export restrictions were being considered due to food security concerns.
Grain exports from Russia are down 18% this season compared to a year ago and export prices for wheat are at this season’s high, according to Reuters.
Russia exported 25 million tonnes of grain from July through December, the first half of the 2019-20 marketing season. It is expected to export a total of 45 million tonnes this marketing year.