Swine fever emerges as threat to Russian grain exports

29.11.2016

The detection of African swine fever in Russia's top wheat growing region could disrupt grain shipments from the top wheat-exporting country - but the threat is low for now, Andrey Sizov Jr at SovEcon said.

The detection of the virus in Krasnodar Krai has raised fears that quarantines by Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary body, could prevent shipments of grain amid a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the disease.

Mr Sizov told Agrimoney that the risk of a full quarantine for the region was low, but he warned that such a quarantine would rapidly effect exports.

Risk of export disruptions

On Friday, Rosselkhoznadzor boss Sergei Dankvert warned that all grain flows out of Krasnodar could be stopped due to the disease.

As well as hitting exports from the region, it would close the Black Sea export terminals of Novorossiysk, Taman, Tuapse, and Eisk.

Mr Dankvert said that a decision on a quarantine zone would be made this week.

Political support for exports

But Mr Sizov downplayed the risk of a quarantine.

"We believe that risk of full quarantine for Krasnodar is quite low, however it does exists, so we suggest to watch evaluation of this story closely," Mr Sizov said.

Mr Sizov told Agrimoney said that although some quarantine zones around reported cases was very likely, it was unlikely the whole region would be quarantined.

"They understand it will have a huge effect on Russian grain exports".

This would not be welcomed by the Russian government, which has be talking up Russia's role as an major grain exporter.

Disrupting grain exports through quarantine "won't look good".

Mr Sizov said that it should also be remembered Rosselkhoznadzor's income is dependent on issuing certificates, and a quarteninte would hit revenues at the organisation.


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