Russia could temporarily halt grain exports until the end of June if shipments reach limits introduced by the government much ahead of schedule, the country’s agriculture ministry said on Friday, according to Interfax.
“The quota was introduced for the period from April 1 to June 30, 2020. After it is depleted, the supplies outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will be stopped for this period,” the news agency quoted Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut as saying.
Given the current pace, exports will be suspended in mid-May, the official said. As of Saturday, less than 4.2 million tons of grain remained available from the 7-million-ton cap.
The deputy minister added that exceptions will not be made for any companies.
Moscow introduced the restrictions at the end of March in order to secure the domestic food market in the “current economic conditions” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the government decree, exports of wheat and meslin, rye, barley, and corn (except for grain seeds) should not exceed 7 million tons. However, the measures do not apply for member states of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.