MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Crimea has exported 600,000 tonnes of grain to India, Saudi Arabia and Syria after a large crop this year, regional agriculture minister Andrey Ryumshin said on Tuesday, TASS news agency reported.
Russia, a major global wheat exporter, annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Since then the region has found it difficult to export the bulk of its grain due to legal risks, however some supplies from Crimea were still continuing.
It was not clear what time period Ryumshin was referring to as he spoke to a regional parliament meeting.
“The grain crop (in Crimea) totalled 1.7 million tonnes. Thus, we were able to fully cover the needs of the republic in high-quality grain and even got an opportunity to export milling grain to India, Saudi Arabia and Syria,” he said.
Then, he told TASS that the total amount of supplies to these countries had reached 600,000 tonnes.
Such grain volumes are significant for Crimea as it previously exported only dozens of thousands tonnes in any one marketing year.
Russia’s agriculture ministry did not immediately reply to request from Reuters for comment.
According to Russian ministry data, Crimea harvested 1.7 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning. These two processes usually reduce the crop by about 5 percent.
Russia itself has harvested a record grain crop this year and is expected to become the world’s largest wheat exporter in the 2017/18 marketing year which started on July 1. (Reporting by Olga Popova and Polina Devitt; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by David Evans)