Russia bans wheat exports until 2011
RUSSIA, the world's third-biggest grower of wheat, has banned grain exports from August 15 to December 31 as the country's worst drought in half a century cuts yields.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said yesterday that the ban was "appropriate" to contain domestic prices that gained 19pc last week, after drought and record heat in central Russia and along the important Volga River forced the government to declare a state of emergency in 28 crop-producing regions.
He proposed that Kazakhstan and Belarus, Russia's partners in a customs union, join the ban.
"As of today, Russia has no grain market," said Kirill Podolsky, chief executive officer of Valars Group, the country's third-biggest grain trader.
"This will be a catastrophe for farmers and exporters alike."
Wheat extended a rally to the highest price in 23 months on Mr Putin's order to halt exports of wheat, maslin, barley, rye, corn and flour.