Russia says it will introduce a duty on wheat exports beginning February 1, in addition to other restrictions it has imposed in an effort to combat rising domestic grain prices.
Last week, the Russian government imposed informal export rules including tougher quality monitoring and slashed railway loading programs.
The government announced that the duty on wheat exports will be 15 percent of the customs price, plus EUR7.5 (US$9.13) and would be no less than EUR35 (US$42.62) per ton from February 1 until June 30, 2015.
Russian Railways, a state-controlled firm, called off controls on grain railway loading, but planned to raise tariffs for supplies by 13.4 percent from January 24.
“Shallow-water ports are still blocked by informal restrictions and it would be impossible to export all volumes until February, so exporters will bear large losses," a trader told Reuters.
The duty on wheat is meant to help lower domestic wheat prices by 15 percent so the government can replenish its grain supply. Some analysts say they expect exports to be small in January to due to informal export curbs which are still in place.
"One of the key unknowns is whether the government will keep artificial administrative barriers or lift them starting from February 1," said Dmitry Rylko, the head of IKAR consultancy.
UPDATE 1-Russia to add wheat exports duty to other curbs from February