Russia is one of the biggest exporters of grain

Russia is one of the biggest exporters of grain

Russia may backtrack on a promise not to cut grain exports after a senior minister said restrictions could come if domestic prices continue to rise, according to reports.

Economy Minister Andrei Belousov told reporters Russia was facing rising grain prices caused by recent droughts in the major grain exporting country. “With such a trend, it's quite possible that the government will decide to restrict grain exports,” Reuters quoted the minister as saying.

Belousov's comments contradict deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who said last month Russia would not decrease exports despite the severe drought cutting yields this year by about a quarter.

A trader, quoted by Reuters, said statements such as Belousov's are not usually issued without the consent of all ministries in Russia, suggesting the comments are official policy.

On Tuesday, a Russian analyst, citing the agricultural ministry, said grain exports were down 17% on last year since the start of the growing season.

A Russian ban on grain exports in 2010 saw shares in major brewers drop. Investors feared the move would significantly increase costs.