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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Russian grain exports slow after watchdog enforces tighter checks on cargo bound for Egypt and other major buyers

Complaints from Egypt and other buyers have prompted Russia to slow grain exports as it steps up quality control inspections, Reuters reports. Russian watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor had announced earlier this month that it would institute new and tougher checks on wheat exports after a rise in complaints in the past three months about dropping quality standards. The authority said that shipments bound for Egypt, Ecuador, Vietnam, Sudan, Venezuela and Israel would require 5-10 days of inspection, but noted that the measures were not aimed at limiting exports, despite protests from traders that the measures are disrupting delivery schedule and overall sales. With the rouble trading at a six-week high, “exports are naturally declining,” said Russian Grain Union head Arkady Zlochevsky. “The toughening of checks, which can be interpreted as an informal and unofficial export limitation, is adding to this process.”

Russian grain exports could slow further in the weeks to come “as harvesting dwindles, stockpiles close to Russia’s main sea ports gradually decline, competition between exporters for high-quality crops rises and the storm season approaches,” analysts told the newswire.

Egypt’s main wheat buyer took 415k tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender last week. Egypt’s wheat imports are expected to total 12.3 mn tonnes at the end of FY2018-19, the USDA projects.

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