Russia’s ag ministry floats wheat, feed grain export tax increases

Russia’s agriculture ministry has proposed a €20/mt increase from March on a planned wheat export duty as the government...

Russia’s agriculture ministry has proposed a €20/mt increase from March on a planned wheat export duty as the government looks for ways to stem rising food costs, with new duties on feed grains also floated under the scheme.

The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that a €25/mt export duty on wheat that is set to come into force on February 15 could rise to €45/mt from March 15.

Corn would be taxed at €25/mt and barley at €10/mt from March 15 under the scheme.

There was no mention of a levy on rye.

The proposal is set to be discussed at a meeting with industry representatives on January 15.

Wednesday’s moves come after the government put a €25/mt export duty on wheat in place last month to run from February 15-June 30 to try and control food price inflation.

A 17.5 million mt grain export quota was also put in place for the same period, with any shipments above the limit subject to a 50% duty of at least €100/mt.

Barley, corn, and rye exports can leave duty free under the current scheme but are still subject to the export quota.

It comes as consumer prices rose 0.8% over December and were up 4.9% through 2020, according to official statistical data published this week.

Reaction

Traders reacted mixed, with some expecting any increase to the export tax to be quickly absorbed by international prices and passed back into the domestic market as farmers continue to hold onto stocks.

Others said the announcement gives some breathing room, with no changes expected for at least a month.

“With Matif and Chicago down, we have room to move goods in January and the start of February,” a broker said.

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