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Latvia bans imports from Russia and Belarus

Латвия забранява вноса от Русия и Беларус

Moscow announced that tariffs on wheat exports would be cut to 3,800.6 rubles ($41.26) a tonne from February 28, 2024, according to the agriculture ministry.

The duty on barley rose to 571 rubles ($6.2) per tonne, and that on maize fell again to 828.9 rubles ($9) per tonne.

The export duty rate for wheat is calculated at an indicative price of 243.5 dollars per ton, for barley - 181.2 dollars per ton, for corn - 185.2 dollars per ton.

At the same time, the Latvian parliament approved amendments to the legislation on agriculture and rural development to ban the import of agricultural products from Russia and Belarus.

The amendments, drawn up by several Latvian government ministries, provide that the import of agricultural products and feed originating in Russia and Belarus into Latvia will be prohibited both directly and through third countries. The ban will remain in place until July 1, 2025 and may be extended if necessary.

Comments on the amendments said that as a country bordering Russia, Latvia sought to "sever economic ties with Russia as soon as possible in order to protect its security" and that "Latvia's initiative is an element complementing the general policy of sanctions of the European Union. The Latvian government must approve rules listing specific agricultural products and feed, whose import into the country will be prohibited."

According to the Latvian State Revenue Service, imports of grain products from Russia in 2023 amounted to 423,732 tons, which is 59.9% more than in 2022. They were worth 89.008 million euros (an increase of 11.7% ). This amount includes 294,844 tons of corn, 53,243 tons of rye, 74,640 tons of wheat, 986 tons of triticale and 20 tons of barley.

Compared to 2022, corn imports double and rye imports increase by 61.5%, while wheat imports decrease by 10.2%. In 2022, no barley was imported into Latvia.

Russia has transited 2.137 million tons of grain through Latvia for 2023, which is 2.2 times more than in 2022. This amount includes 1.68 million tons of wheat (an increase of more than two times), 289,168 tons of corn ( increase by 87%), 109,609 tons of barley (increase by 730 times), 51,067 tons of rye (increase by 27%), 4,330 tons of triticale (decrease by 72.7%), 2,136 tons of oats (increase by 10 times), 878 tons of rice (a 30-fold decrease) %) and 157 tons of sorghum (an increase of 2%).

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