From Australia with love

Grain | 16th December 2020 | By Andrew Whitelaw

RE Wheat export tariff announcement.

Dear Vladimir,

I trust all is well in Russia, and that the weather isn’t too chilly. I am writing to you today on behalf of the grain-growing community of Australia.

2020 has been a challenging year for all countries. It was disappointing to see rampant food inflation impacting Russian consumers, with the cost of sunflower oil to sugar increasing dramatically.

We watched with curiosity as talk escalated in recent months that export curbs would be put in place. There was speculation of export bans, then followed the consideration of an export ban.

It was your leadership ‘Cut food prices in a week or else’, which encouraged your government to enact changes expediently. Leading to the introduction of a A$40 export tariff to reduce domestic pricing.

As you may be aware, Australian farmers have suffered in recent years from government interventions in markets which have been negative for our trade. This has included import tariffs for pulses (India), barley (China) & wine (China).

It is delightful to have a foreign power to make a decision which is beneficial to our grain trade. In all likelihood, your export tariff will reduce Russian export competitiveness and be bullish for Australian exports.

This announcement came at a time when Australian prices were coming under pressure. This was due to heavy selling, capacity constraints and even trader credit limits. This news couldn’t have come at a better time, and we have already experienced a rise compared to Russian pricing.

We thank-you for the excellent work, and will shout you a beer next time you are down under.

Спасибо (spasiba).

Andrew Whitelaw.

PS. If you could do something to slow down the export pace, and the inevitable flood of Russian wheat onto the market between now and February 15th.


  • Russia
  • Wheat