Russian grain producers are facing chaos in the market: excessive restrictions from Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as the theft of Ukrainian grain, do not allow them to sell their products on foreign markets. Kommersantwrites about this with reference to a letter from the Opora Rossii business association.
Business representatives complain that the export of grain from Russia through Kazakhstan is too expensive, the cost of transporting Russian products is almost four times higher than for grain from Kazakhstan: 192 against 51 rubles per ton. Such discriminatory conditions significantly reduce the competitiveness of Russian producers, who require the authorities to promptly resolve this issue with their neighbor. At the same time, Kazakh producers continue to use preferential tariffs for sending their grain through Russian southern ports, and Russian business calls for the abolition of these benefits.
Kazakhstan has introduced increased tariffs on grain transportation after Russia imposed severe restrictions on grain exports from Russia to the EAEU countries, except for Belarus. The reason for the introduction of restrictions was the panic in the Russian market and excessive, according to Russia, purchases of Russian grain from Siberia by Kazakhstan itself. The authorities of the partner country in the EAEU reacted negatively to such measures, especially against the background of the fact that they were introduced discriminatoryly - Belarus was an exception, as a result, the dispute remained unresolved, and Kazakhstan reacted by raising tariffs.
Experts note that it will not be possible to quickly solve the problem of tariffs, because of the bureaucracy, the dispute can continue for years, and a solution must be found quickly. It is unprofitable to redirect grain to the southern ports, and there will not be enough export capacity - the ports are clogged with stolen Ukrainian grain , among other things. Against this background, the North China market looks much more promising. As an alternative to Kazakhstan, Opora Rossii proposes to start exporting by Russian Railways through the Far Eastern highways to China.
However, the prospects for rail transport are vague, as Russian transport capacity is not enough to accelerate the reorientation of the economy to the East. Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev spoke about the problems with the railway corridors, admitting that the system is simply not ready for a reorientation to the East. Additional pressure on the market and grain exports is exerted by the war in Ukraine. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky estimates the volume of grain stolen and exported to Russia at the level of half a million tons, which creates an additional load in Russian ports for shipment. From the BBC investigation it follows that the Russian military has put theft on stream.
Russia and Ukraine are world leaders in the production and export of grain, however, due to the war in Ukraine and the actions of the Russian command, there is a risk that grain supplies to other countries will drop sharply. The situation is aggravated by the blocking of Ukrainian ports by the Russian side, which puts the world at risk of a large-scale food crisis, and in some countries, famine.