Updated with quote from USDA
Russia is going to ban corn and soybean imports from the United States starting Feb. 15.
Russian media report that the ban is due to U.S. products failing to meet Russian standards. A Russian food and safety watchdog said he has found dry rot in corn and weed seeds in soybeans from the United States.
“We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government has taken this precipitous action," said USDA press secretary Cathy Cochran in a statement. "The U.S. government has been attempting to work with Russian authorities to address their perceived concerns about U.S. popcorn and soybean imports, including a high-level technical call with Russian authorities on Feb. 9, 2016. The United States exports soybeans, corn and popcorn to countries around the world. It is unfortunate that at a time when Russian consumers are facing double digit inflation, the Russian market would be deprived of a major supplier of safe corn and soybeans.”
According to Farm Futures Senior Editor Bob Burgdorfer, USDA records show Russia took 395,700 metric tons of U.S. soybeans this year, but no corn, soybean meal or soybean oil.
For more information:
Daily Mail – Russia set to ban U.S. corn, soybean imports
Russian officials held a phone conversation with their U.S. counterparts Tuesday "expressing serious concern over continued shipments of grain product that is unsafe..." the Rosselkhoznadzor agency said in a statement.
TASS – Russia bans import of soybeans, corn from United States
Russian agency says potential damage from spread of quarantine items in Russia is $126 million to $189 million annually.
Ennahar Online – U.S. corn and soybeans banned in Russia
The threats to Russia are real, Russian food and safety watchdog says, and U.S. guarantees are not valid.
RT: U.S. 'disappointed' over Russia's corn and soybean ban
U.S. Embassy in Russia says it tried to negotiate.