The world’s largest wheat exporter sees no need to trigger a grain export duty, which is currently at zero, after sharp falls in the ruble, the Russian agriculture ministry said, according to Reuters.
The Russian currency’s rapid decline sparked concerns among some analysts that ruble-denominated grain prices would rise and prompt officials to consider launching official or non-official measures to slow down exports and put a brake on rising costs for flour millers or meat producers.
But in its first public comment, since the collapse in global oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic pushed the ruble to four-year lows against the dollar, the ministry said on Thursday there was no need for an immediate response.
“The agriculture ministry does not expect significant growth in the grain prices on the domestic market and does not see the need to change a zero export duty,” it said.
Russia’s domestic market was relatively stable last week and the data for this week will be available on Monday.
“At the moment there are no restrictions prescribed on supply to foreign markets,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that since the start of the 2019/20 marketing year on July 1 and by early March, Russia exported 30 million tons of grain, less than in the same period a year ago.
Taking into account the ministry’s official forecast for Russia’s exports this season of 45 million tons, the country can export additional 15 million tons of grain in March-June without drawing on grain needed for domestic consumption.