ANKARA, March 17. /TASS/. President of the Istanbul Association of Exporters Zekeriya Mete has confirmed that Russian grain imports have been restricted, adding that all supplies that have already arrived in Turkey will be accepted.
"There is a ministerial instruction to restrict imports of grain from Russia. We are unaware of the exact reasons for this decision, probably, there are certain issues related to sanitary surveillance. But we will accept all Russian ships that are already in our ports with grain of proper quality," he said.
According to Mete, "the move may be a response to the existing bans imposed by Russia on Turkish exports." "Turkey will buy the required volumes of grain from other countries. However, I expect the issue of imports from Russia to be solved somehow in the nearest future at the government level," he added.
Earlier on Friday President of Russia’s Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky told TASS that Turkey has suspended issuance of licenses for duty-free import of sunflower oil, wheat and corn from Russia. According to Zlochevsky, Turkish contractors of Russian exporters have informed about it. Russian exporters are now obliged to pay a duty amounting to 130%.
The new terms of grain supplies to Turkey are very unprofitable for Russia, official spokesperson of Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor Yuliya Melano told TASS. She added that Russia may redirect its supplies destined for Turkey to new markets and find new contractors because of unprofitable terms of grain exports.
According to the data provided to the Federal Customs Service, Russian producers delivered 4.7 mln tonnes of grain to Turkey last year, including 2.6 mln tonnes of wheat and 838,000 tonnes of corn.