Tue, 12 Dec 2023

African country resumes imports of Russian wheat

27 Sep 2023, 01:28 GMT+10

Morocco will receive the first grain cargo after supplies were stopped due to Western sanctions on Moscow

Morocco has resumed imports of Russian wheat for the first time since the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, Asharq News reported on Tuesday.

The first cargo is expected to arrive in the North African country within days, the outlet said, citing grain traders.

Two Russian ships each carrying 30,000 tons of wheat set sail from one of the country's ports last week and are heading to Morocco, the outlet reported. Russian wheat supplies are expected to replenish grain stocks in the North African country following the decline in local production due to the dry season.

The kingdom stopped importing wheat from Russia early last year after Moscow was cut off from the SWIFT financial messaging system, which made it difficult to pay for supplies directly through Moroccan banks.

Last year, Western restrictions on Russia disconnected the country's key banks from Belgium-based SWIFT, which facilitates banking transactions around the globe. A number of Russian lenders are also subject to blocking sanctions, which ban international financial institutions from cooperating with them.

READ MORE: 'Exceptional' Russian harvest lowers global wheat prices - FT

Morocco has recently found ways to bypass SWIFT in trade with Russia by resorting to intermediary banks, according to Asharq.

"Morocco remains a key Russian trade and economic partner in Africa. In a geopolitical context marked by worsening energy and food crises, such a partnership is particularly important," the Russian ambassador to Rabat, Vladimir Baibakov, told TASS news agency earlier this month.

He noted that Russia, a major wheat exporter, is ready to sell grain to Morocco at a competitive price.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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