Russian grain embargo in place until 2011 harvest: Putin

22:45, September 02, 2010      

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Lifting the embargo on grain exports could not be discussed until the 2011 crops had been harvested, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a government meeting Thursday.

"In order not to create unnecessary nervousness, to secure stability and predictability of business for all market players, I have to stress that the grain embargo cancellation we will be able to be considered only after the crops of the next year are harvested and the grain balance is clear," Putin said.

The ban, effective from Aug. 15 to Dec. 31, was introduced after the worst drought in Russian history caused a dramatic drop in the harvest to a forecast 60-65 million tonnes.

He said grain producers and traders should work on the basis of real circumstances and consider the needs of the domestic market.

Putin admitted that, after the embargo was imposed, producers and traders had begun to hold on to the commodity, expecting further moves from the government.

Initially, the government planned to lift the export ban after the end of 2010. A government regulation dated Aug. 30 partially cancelled the embargo, allowing exports under international contracts signed by the Russian Federation and as humanitarian aid.

Putin previously claimed there was no grain shortage in Russia.

Source: Xinhua


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