Russia imposes wheat export tax, other steps to stabilise food prices

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed on Tuesday a list of orders aimed at stabilising food prices, including a grain export quota and a wheat export tax, the government said.

Published : 15 Dec 2020, 09:53 PM
Updated : 15 Dec 2020, 09:53 PM

The new measures, announced by officials on Monday, aim to combat rising domestic food prices after President Vladimir Putin criticised the impact of excessive inflation.

Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, will introduce a quota for overseas shipments of wheat, rye, barley and corn (maize) limiting exports to 17.5 million tonnes for the period Feb. 15-June 30, the government said in the statement.

The country, which supplies wheat to major importers such as Turkey, Egypt and Bangladesh, has also decided to introduce a wheat export tax of 25 euros ($30.40) per tonne within that quota for Feb. 15-June 30.

If export volumes exceed the quota, the tax for wheat would rise to 50% of the customs price or 100 euros per tonne, whichever is higher.

The tax could reduce Russia's 2020/21 wheat exports by 2 million-3 million tonnes to 37.8 million-38.8 million tonnes, SovEcon agriculture consultancy said.

The move has triggered volatility in global wheat prices with a potential reduction in future supplies offset by sentiment by expectations that exports could accelerate before the measures come into effect in mid-February.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher