Russia to Ban U.S. Corn and Soybeans Effective February 15
Grain has been a rare exempted item from Russia’s ban on Western agricultural imports, however, Russia’s food safety regulatory body, Rosselkhoznadzor, announced that the country will ban the importation of U.S. corn and soybeans beginning February 15, stating that the American crops have been found to not meet Russia’s biological safety standards, reports Farm Futures.
Rosselkhoznadzor claims it found dry rot in shipments of U.S. corn and weed seeds in shipments of soybeans.
"Since the products shipped from the United States pose a real threat to Russia, and the US guarantees are not valid, we reserve the right to introduce temporary restrictions on imports of US corn and soybeans," said Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Aleksey Alekseenko, reports RT.com.
Russia’s Agriculture Minister, Alexander Tkachev said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television according to Sputnik News, that the country is planning to replace the banned imports with shipments from Latin America.
Between January and October of last year, the U.S. shipped 300,000 tons of soybeans to Russia, and Rosselkhoznadzor estimates that the cost of the quarantined crops shipped to Russia to be 15 billion rubles (US$188 million).