Russia is banning exports of hard wheat until May 31, 2024, in an effort to enhance food security and stabilise the price of durum wheat goods in the country.

The regulation came into play yesterday (11 December), the government’s website confirmed.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed the order to enforce the ban, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Exemptions from the ban include shipments for global humanitarian aid or under worldwide inter-governmental agreements. Exports to South Ossetia and Abkhaiza in the South Caucasus region, as well as grain shipped “as supplies” are also permitted.

Nations within the Eurasian Economic Union – which include, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia – will also be allowed to receive durum wheat exports, if they have permits from the Agriculture Ministry.

According to Interfax, the Russian Agriculture Ministry said worldwide hard wheat harvests had hit “20-year lows in most producing countries”, causing demand for the products to jump.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

It added that the ban will help the country guarantee a secure supply of durum wheat for its pasta manufacturers.

Russia also has intentions to grow its hard wheat crop regions and boost production each year, the ministry said.

The ministry first suggested a ban of hard wheat exports last month, which was supported by Russia’s customs sub-comittee.

Its draft proposal originally intended to run the ban for a full six months, from 1 December 2023 to 31 May, 2024.

According to Interfax, The Russian Grain Union found that exports of hard wheat had grown 13 times between 1 July and November 10, 2023, to 657,000 tonnes, with most of this wheat going to countries such as Italy and Turkey.

The jump in exports is believed to be a consequence of a grain damper policy introduced by Russia in 2021 that applies floating export duty to wheat, corn and barley. This has reduced the size of the share of the duty in hard wheat prices, it said.

Russia chose not to renew its Black Sea Grain Deal earlier this year. This had allowed for the safe transportation of grains including wheat out of three Ukrainian ports. The country terminated the deal, saaying hurdles around its own food and fertiliser shipments had not been removed before the expiry date of 17 July.