MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Citing mounting challenges to its grain export operations in Russia, Cargill will cease elevating Russian grain in the new export season that begins July 1.

In response to Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine, Cargill already had scaled back its business activities and stopped new investments in Russia, operating only essential food and feed facilities. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, US-based company has been one of the largest non-Russian exporters of Russian wheat.

“However, as grain export-related challenges continue to mount, Cargill will stop elevating Russian grain for export in July 2023 after the completion of the 2022-2023 season,” Cargill said in a statement to World Grain. “Cargill intends to continue shipping grain from Russia to destination markets in line with our purpose to nourish the world. Cargill’s other essential food and feed activities, including starches and sweeteners, oils and fats, and animal feed are not impacted by these changes.”

Cargill owns a stake in the grain terminal in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.

Russia’s agriculture ministry said in a comment to Reuters that the development would not affect the volume of the country’s domestic grain shipments, regardless of who manages the grain export assets. Russia is the largest supplier of wheat to global markets, with its 33 million tonnes accounting for about 17% of the total in 2021, according to the US Department of Agriculture.