World News

Trade restrictions on food exports due to the coronavirus pandemic

PARIS (Reuters) – Here is a list of countries that have applied or are considering trade restrictions on food or agricultural products due to the spread of the coronavirus around the world.


Russia’s Agriculture Ministry said on Friday it had proposed setting up a quota for Russian grain exports of 7 million tonnes for April-June, in a bid to protect domestic supply as the coronavirus spreads.

The proposal, subject to approval by the government, was seen by traders as in line with expected end-of-season Russian shipments, but raised concern it could be followed by further restrictions in the world’s top wheat exporting country.

Russia had suspended exports of processed grains such as ready-to-eat buckwheat, rice or oat flakes from March 20 for 10 days following a rise in domestic demand, as Russians, worried by the coronavirus epidemic, stockpiled staples.

But it subsequently scrapped the measure, the Interfax news agency reported.

Russia’s vegetable oil union has asked the agriculture ministry to restrict sunflower seed exports for six months after a surge in domestic prices due to a fall in the rouble. The ministry did not immediately react to the call.


The country has suspended exports of wheat flour, buckwheat, sugar, sunflower oil and some vegetables until at least April 15 to ensure a steady supply, the government said.


Ukraine, a major global exporter of grain and vegetable oils, does not plan to restrict food exports, the deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture said on Thursday.

Ukraine’s president last week said food exports should be restricted according to a list drawn up by the government.

The economy ministry said on Friday it was monitoring wheat exports and would take necessary measures if required. It announced that state entities would release 128,000 tonnes of wheat flour onto the local market to curb a price jump.

However, it said 2019/20 wheat exports had not reached a 20 million tonne ceiling previously agreed with traders.


The world’s third-largest rice exporter has temporarily suspended rice export contracts until March 28 as it checks whether it has sufficient domestic supplies to cope during the coronavirus outbreak, the government said on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Gus Trompiz; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Mark Heinrich and Jan Harvey)