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Russia will be shipping grain from its already depleted Q2 export quota

Reuters, 26.04.20

Writes through to add comment from the agriculture ministry

MOSCOW, April 26 (Reuters) - Russia will suspend grain exports until July 1 only after the grain it has declared in its second-quarter quota has been shipped, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.

Russia previously set the quota for grain exports of 7 million tonnes for April through June following the outbreak of the new coronavirus. This online grain export quota ran out on Sunday, data from the ministry showed.

"After all the grain declared for export within the quota has been exported, exports of wheat, rye, barley and corn to countries which are not members of the (Russia-led) Eurasian Economic Union will be stopped until July 1," the ministry said in a statement.

Russia's customs stopped issuing new declarations - documents for exports - after the quota was depleted, it added.

The quota ran out quickly this weekend as traders rushed to secure customs documents for shipments in May and June, analysts said on Saturday, adding that supplies from the world's biggest wheat exporter would continue despite the fact.

The high speed at which the quota was snapped up showed these were not real export orders but a consequence of getting the necessary paperwork in place by traders rushing to ensure they have a place in this quota.

In reality, Russia's April grain exports are seen at around 4 million tonnes, leaving almost 3 million tonnes for exports in May and June even though the quota is formally exhausted, IKAR and SovEcon, two leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said this weekend.

It remains officially unknown who exactly obtained these declarations in the quota, but the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, whose members include two trade firms with three supplies to Egypt's state buyer GASC in May-June, believes there is no risk to Russian exporters being able to fulfil their contracts.

The union "sees no problem in the fulfillment of Russian exporters' obligations with GASC", the head of the union, Eduard Zernin, told Reuters last week.

"Everything will be settled," he said.

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