Russia recently admitted that the increase in its flour exports is facilitated by a decrease in flour exports from Ukraine.
Russia exported 990,000 tons of flour (wheat flour and rye-wheat flour blend) in January-October 2023, which is almost a third more than it exported in the same period of 2022 and exceeds the amount it exported in the entire 2022.
Iraq was the largest importer of flour from Russia in the first 10 months of 2023 (150,000 tons), followed by Georgia (126,000 tons), and China (100,000 tons), the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax news agency.
Russia’s Federal Center for the Development of Export of Agricultural Products (Agroexport) believes that the country can potentially increase exports by an additional 500,000 tons annually.
As reported previously, Russia increased exports of wheat flour 3.3-fold to 875,000 tons in 2022 against the backdrop of the blockade of Ukrainian ports.
One of the stated reasons for this sharp increase was that “Ukraine has sharply reduced the export of flour, which has facilitated the increase of [Russian] supplies both to countries that are traditional importers of Russian flour and to new markets.”
It should be added that the increase in Russia’s flour exports may also be because of the production of flour from grain stolen from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. As has been repeatedly reported, the Russian occupiers export grain to Russia through the ports of Berdiansk, Mariupol, and the occupied Crimea. It should be recalled that seaports in the Russian-occupied Crimea handled 2.2 million tons of cargo in January-October this year. This is seven times more than the volume of cargo they handled in the same period of 2022. “This indicator rose mainly because of an increase in grain transshipment,” said a representative of the Crimean occupation administration. Only one factor can explain such a significant increase in the export of grain cargo through the ports of Crimea: the export of grain from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine by the Russians.