Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Global agribusiness giant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has announced it will stop exporting grain from Russia from 1 July.

The move followed announcements by Cargill and Viterra saying they also would stop export activities in Russia.

“Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) will cease grain exports from Russia from July 1, 2023, as grain export challenges continue to increase in the country and is also assessing options for the transfer to new owners of its existing Russian business and grain assets,” LDC said in a statement on the company website on 3 April.

“LDC will continue to run its operations in Russia until the process is complete, in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

Most international grain traders have stopped new investment in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine last February, but continued shipping Russian wheat, World Grain wrote on 4 April.

Russia’s agriculture ministry said it had received notice from Louis Dreyfus Vostok (East) that it would stop handling Russian grain exports, saying the move would not affect the volume of Russian grain exports, the report said.

Russia accounts for about 17% of the global wheat export market, according to the report.

LDC employs about 650 people in Russia, where it focuses on wheat, barley and corn exports, alongside smaller- scale sugar product distribution operations, according to the report.

On average, LDC exports 1.5M-3M tonnes/year of grains from Russia, the report said.

Products sourced from Russia and Ukraine made up 2% of LDC’s group sales last year, compared to less than 4% the previous year, the company said when it presented its 2022 results on 22 March.

According to the World Grain report, LDC operates several offices and seven inland silos in Russia that total about 900,000 tonnes of storage and a grain export terminal on the Don River with access to the Sea of Azov that it acquired in 2015. The terminal was inaugurated in May 2017 and has an annual capacity of about 1M tonnes with 50,000 tonnes of storage in 10 vertical silos. LDC also operates a riverside elevator in Volgograd that allows grain exports along the Volga River and down to the Caspian Sea.

Although Cargill had announced it would no longer handle Russian grain exports, the company’s shipping unit said it would continue to carry grain from the country’s ports, while Viterra’s local management team aimed to form a new trading firm, World Grain wrote.