In an apparent effort to stabilize domestic bread and flour prices, Russia will ban all grain exports to Belarus and Kazakhstan until April 30, 2008.
In late January, the Russian
government imposed a 40% export duty on grain exports to stabilize retail bread
and flour prices. However, the duty, which will also remain in place until April
30, did not apply to the member states of the Customs Union, prompting the
Russian government to impose a direct ban on exports to the two ex-Soviet
The need for grain intervention arose when grain prices
reached a record level of 6,300 rubles ($250) per metric ton of class 4 wheat
and 5,700 rubles ($226) per metric ton of forage fodder in July 2007. Prices of
bread, flour and other wheat-based food products also grew as a result.