Russia: to hold off raising export duty on wheat

Moscow / RU. (rai) The Russian government is not planning any further increases in export duties on grain, the Russian Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina says: «There is no need to do so at the moment. We are monitoring the situation». Last week, Russia set export duty on grain at ten percent, but not less than 22 EUR per metric ton to offset growing consumer prices on bread and flour. According to the news agency «Novosti», the need for grain intervention arose when grain prices reached a record level of 6.300 RUB (250 USD) per metric ton of class four wheat and 5.700 RUB (226 USD) per metric ton of forage fodder in July 2007. Prices of bread, flour and other wheat-based food products also grew as a result. Taking into account food price growth, consumer prices in Russia grew 7,5 percent in the first nine months of 2007 or 0,3 percent more than in the same period of last year. In September alone they climbed 0,8 percent, making the government´s eight percent inflation target for 2007 unrealistic.