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MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Russia can “painlessly” export about 30 million tonnes of grain, Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov on Tuesday told the Russia-24 television channel, adding that there is no threat to Russia’s food security.
“According to our estimates, up to 30 million tonnes of grain is a volume we can export absolutely painlessly,” he said.
Since July 2014, Russia has exported about 20 million tonnes of grain, of which wheat accounted for 15.5 million tonnes.
“We have one hundred percent guarantees that the domestic demand will be satisfied by 100-125% This issue is under the president’s and the prime minister’s round-the-clock control,” Fydorov noted.
“I can guarantee that should any threat of failing to meet the domestic demand - a threat to the food security - emerge, all necessary measures will be taken in line with the rules and procedures of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” he added.
According to earlier reports, the Russian government said it was preparing measures to limit exports of Russian grain by means of extra taxes to prevent a surge in domestic prices for grain. Domestic grain prices began an upwards movement after the rouble devaluation prompted exporters to increase exports dramatically.
Thus, grain export dynamics since July 2014 have outstripped last year’s figures by 30%, according to the agriculture ministry’s statistics. Wheat prices in Russia have gone up by about five percent in the past week alone.
So far, the government has announced neither the size of the would-be tax nor the date when it might come into force.
Grain export tax, if imposed, will be the first restrictive measure concerning grain export since 2010, when Russia has to impose a ban on grain exports over severe drought. The 2010 Russian grain export ban triggered a sharp price rise on global markets.