April 13, 2006


Russia may benefit from EU wheat quota



A proposal by the European Union to set a special import quota for Russian wheat at one million tonnes a year would be beneficial for Russia, domestic agriculture analyst Sovecon said in a report Wednesday (Apr 12).


Last year, Russia exported 806,000 tonnes to the EU, compared with 749,000 tonnes in 2004. This year, however, the volume is expected to drop as only 37,000 tonnes were exported to the EU in January-February.


"The proposal is not bad unless the EU wants some concessions from Russia in return, such as on meat imports," Sovecon said.


Russia currently supplies wheat to the EU within a quota set for all countries, except for the US and Canada, which have individual quotas. The quota amounts to around 2.37 million tonnes a year, and Russia has to compete with other countries, mainly Ukraine.


During the first months of the year, Ukraine's exports to the EU were considerably higher than Russia's, totalling 109,000 tonnes.


The proposal was made Tuesday by EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel after her talks with Russia's Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev.


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