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Ban on salt imports may lead to drop in prices in Russia — regulator

September 13, 20:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
There will not be any salt deficit on the Russian market, an official says
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© Dmitry Rogulin/TASS

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. Salt prices in Russia may decline after it is put on the list of food products banned for import from the countries that imposed sanctions against Russia, an official with Rusprodsoyuz (association of food producers and suppliers) told TASS.

The official stressed that there will not be any salt deficit on the Russian market because the production capacities of Russian salt producers make it possible to fully meet domestic demand for white and industrial salt.

The association estimates the salt market in Russia at 5 mln tonnes a year.

"The production capacity of Russian producers alone is 6 million tonnes a year, but at the moment only half of them is used," the official said.

Also salt producers of Belarus and Kazakhstan are widely represented on the Russian market.

"The intense competition of these countries for the market share that freed in 2015 (after Ukraine left the edible salt market) has already led to a reduction in wholesale prices of Russian producers by 12%. Moreover, the increase in domestic production and the increase in the use of production capacities should lead to reduction of production costs," the official with the association said.

Rusprodsoyuz also expects that foreign companies will do their best to bring excessive volumes of salt stored in theie warehouses to the Russian market before the ban on imports comes into effect.

According to the association, in January - August 2016, the volume of import of white and industrial salt from the "sanctioned" countries amounted to about 13% of total shipments.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry earlier said restriction of salt imports won’t affect meeting Russia’s domestic needs.

"The proposed measures on banning import of salt won’t affect meeting Russia’s domestic demands: the dropped volume can be compensated by increasing domestic production and redirecting to the supplies from other countries," the ministry said.

Salt has been added to the list of products that are banned for imports from countries that imposed sanctions against Russia. The relevant government decree comes into force on November 1, 2016.

Earlier Russia’s food embargo imposed in response to the Western sanctions was spread on meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables and number of other products.

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