Moldova lifts wheat export ban as new harvest nears By Reuters
CHISINAU (Reuters) – Moldova has lifted its wheat and flour export ban, its government said, under pressure from the approaching new harvest and protests from farmers demanding a chance to withdraw the old crop to release storage facilities.
The former Soviet republic imposed the ban on March 1 to ensure sufficient domestic supplies after Russia sent forces to neighboring Ukraine, which affected shipping via Moldova’s usual Black Sea export route. by inflating freight costs.
Moldova’s exportable surplus in the 2022/July 23-June marketing year will total 720,000 tonnes of wheat, including the new crop and remaining stock, its local grain exporters association told Reuters.
The country exported 1.1 million tons of wheat between August 2021 and February 2022 to the Middle East and Africa.
However, the actual amount of exports in the new season will depend on the availability of export routes.
Farmers in several parts of Moldova joined protests last week to demand the release of exports before starting to harvest the new crop in the coming days.
They also asked the government to help them boost rail supply to Black Sea ports in neighboring Romania and Bulgaria.
Moldova’s wheat harvest in 2022 is expected to reach 900,000 tons, compared to a record harvest of 1.7 million tons in 2021, due to dry weather in autumn and spring, according to its agriculture ministry.
About 380,000 tonnes of new crop milling wheat will be needed for domestic consumption this season, he added.
Moldova’s grain storage capacity is currently almost full with 720,000 tonnes of wheat, maize and sunflower seeds.