Russia reinforces quality controls on wheat exports

Russia's Food Safety Inspectorate Rosselkhoznadzor has tightened quality controls on grain exports due to complaints from bulk buyers about quality issues.
Traders pay close attention to changes in export regulations for cereals, as they have been used in the past to ease export restrictions.
This season, some traders believe that Russia could consider restricting exports as soon as they reach 30 million tons.
A department of the Surveillance Authority in Rostov-on-Don has asked exporters who export grain to Ecuador, Vietnam, Sudan, Egypt, Venezuela and Israel to undergo certain phytosanitary controls, according to a spokeswoman for Reuters. The controls are not new. They have always been performed. It was only decided to remind the market participants of the controls, the spokeswoman Yulia Melano told Reuters.
In early September, the agency ordered the regional offices to increase controls after Indonesia and Vietnam had declared they had identified substances in Russian supplies that, although allowed in Russia, meant they needed to be quarantined.
The quality of Russian wheat is lower this year due to unfavorable weather conditions during the harvest than in the previous year.
Strengthening controls does not aim to limit grain exports, Melano said.
By August 30, Russia had exported 9.8 million tons of grain since the beginning of the 2018/19 season on July 1.
The checks will initially last until the end of the year.
The main task of the authority is to issue certificates that are required for a freight to leave the country. A few years ago, when Russia imposed informal restrictions on grain exports, it became difficult to obtain allowances.

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