Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russia Faces Hurdles on Food Sales to Key Wheat Customer Turkey

  • Turkey to select firms exporting some Russian foods like wheat
  • Nation has sought resumption of tomato exports to Russia

Russia is again facing barriers on exporting food to Turkey, its second-biggest wheat customer.

Turkey will select shippers to supply some Russian foods in response to Russia’s approval of “only” nine Turkish firms it will import agricultural goods from, said a Turkish official who asked not to be identified. Turkish officials in Russia will need to approve invoices for exports of goods including wheat and corn as of Monday, according to a government letter obtained by Bloomberg.

The move comes as the countries are in talks to end a Russian ban on Turkish tomatoes and follows a food-trade standoff between the two earlier this year. Relations between the nations are important for the wheat market because as the world’s top flour exporter, Turkey buys large amounts of Russian grain to make the product. In addition, Russia needs buyers for its record wheat crop.

Other goods that fall under the latest limits also include sunflower products, dry peas, paddy rice and durum wheat, according to the letter. Turkey’s Economy Ministry said it couldn’t confirm the new rules. 

While the spat was largely resolved in May, Russia said at the time that it would keep restrictions on Turkish tomatoes. Russia may resume tomato purchases from several accredited Turkish firms, Kommersant reported last month, citing unidentified agricultural industry officials and executives. 

The Istanbul Cereals, Pulses, Oilseeds and Products Exporters Association supports the latest measures, Zekeriya Mete, the association’s head, said by phone. Some Russian grain exports haven’t met Turkish quality standards, and the new rules may help to prevent that, he said.

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