March 30, 2004



Russia Set To End Grain Export Duty

Russia's grain export duty of EUR25 per metric ton, which has been in effect since Jan. 15, will end May 1, as was planned earlier, Alexander Filippov, head of the tariff regulation department at the economic development ministry, said in Moscow Tuesday.
When the duty was imposed in January, the government said it would be in effect until May 1 unless the conditions on the market necessitated an extension.
Filippov said that, although the ministry proposed in February that the export duty should be extended, it had decided now that there was no need to keep it beyond May 1.
Filippov said decreased grain exports, together with the ongoing grain intervention sales, had worked, and there was no fear of grain shortages on the market at present, even if exports increased after the export tax was lifted May 1.
He said Russia consumed on average three million tons of grain a month, and grain stocks in the country were 18 million tons, exceeding the expected consumption of 12 million tons in the remaining four months of the current marketing year.
Russia's Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said Jan. 15 the decision to impose the export duty was being taken in order to stabilize prices on the domestic market.
Kudrin said bread prices in Russia increased in 2003 by 24% and the trend was continuing.
The reason for the increase in prices was excessive exports, which might reach six million tons in the current marketing season.
Russia harvested in 2003 67.2 million tons in clean weight, over 20% less than in 2002. Grain export in the 2002-2003 marketing season was 19 million tons.

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