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MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. Russia may lose its status of world leader in wheat exports due to the trade crisis with Turkey, Deputy Agriculture Minister Evgeny Gromyko told reporters.
"Of course, we can lose this status: Turkey was the second largest buyer (of wheat). The problem is not that we will not sell it to Turks, the problem is the time we lose when looking for new markets," the deputy minister said.
If Russia fails to reach an agreement with Turkey, the volume intended for that country will be redirected to other markets, which will take time, he said.
"What we do not sell in December, we will sell in March and April. Exporters are not complaining about prices, but prices are unstable all over the world now and the trend is mainly downwards. Anyway, prices are still worthy, so it's a sin to complain. Definitely, we will catch up," deputy agriculture minister said.
At the same time, the ministry does not lower its target for grain exports set for this agricultural year - it remains on the level of the previous year (33.9 million tonnes), he said.
Also, according to him, the potential of the Eurasian Economic Union and CIS markets has grown.
Turkey excluded Russia from the list of countries free of duties for imports of agricultural products starting March 15. Now, Russia and some other countries are not on the list of states with duty-free imports that can deliver commodities for further processing and export free of payment of the duty amounting to 130%. Previously Russian exporters and their Turkish customers imported grain meant for processing and further export with zero duty, while they still had to pay a 130% duty in order to sell products locally.