- Shen Yun
Russia’s worst heat wave has stoked wildfires and parched crops leading to a grain export ban. It’s sending prices of wheat to two-year highs and prompting the World Bank to warn against hasty restrictions on exports.
The ban came into force on Sunday and is due to last until the end of December. The move is designed to restrain domestic food prices because of the worst drought in more than a century that caused forest fires and left Moscow blanketed in smoke.
Many people are concerned about the drought and the crop failure, as well as the export ban that may lead to a price hike, as grain traders try to compensate their losses.
They hope the government will help overcome the problems.
[Muscovite Svetlana, Moscow Resident]:
“The state and the government must be ready for some bad harvest, drought and other natural calamities. It must be ready, and the granaries must be full.”
[Oleg, Moscow Resident]:
"The bread prices will grow but perhaps not too much. What do I think about it? There is nothing good in it anyway.”
[Anna, Moscow Resident]:
“It will go on just the same for us. We will eat bread as usual, but it will definitely affect the elderly people and pensioners first for all.”
Russia plans to discuss whether to extend the grain export ban into next year.
Russia harvested 97 million tons of grain in 2009, and it needs 78 million tons to cover domestic consumption.
Agriculture Ministry data shows that Russia may have no more grain to ship abroad from this year's crop, even if it lifts export bans from 2011.