MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russia, which will meet its grain export quota ahead of schedule, said it will suspend shipments until July 1, Reuters reported, citing deputy agriculture minister Oksana Lut.
The nation expects to meet its 7-million-tonne quota in mid-May instead of the end of June. After it is reached, the nation will stop exports to outside of the Eurasian Economic Union, Lut said.
The amount is what Russia was expected to ship in the April 1-June 1 period, but as of April 17, only 4.2 million tonnes of grain remained available for export.
Lut said there are no plans to increase the second-quarter quota and the agriculture ministry could keep the quota for the new 2020-21 marketing season.
Russia, and other nations within the Black Sea region, have moved to support domestic supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia last fully banned wheat exports in 2010 due to drought. Turkey, Egypt and Bangladesh are the largest buyers of Russian wheat, Reuters said.
If exports are suspended, it could hurt Egypt’s latest purchase of Russian wheat.
Egypt booked 180,000 tonnes of Russian wheat to beef up its strategic reserves amid the coronavirus, Reuters said.
Shipments are scheduled from mid-May through early June. If Russia’s grain exports are suspended, there will be no exceptions for certain companies, Lut said.
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