Russia lifts grain export ban as of July 1

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says the country will lift its ban on grain exports on July 1.

The government banned exports of wheat, barley, rye, corn and flour in August after a severe drought and heat wave cut the country’s grain production by 37 percent.

But deputy prime minister Viktor Zubkov on Saturday told Putin that spring planting this year was 10 percent higher than the previous year and that the winter wheat harvest was good.

Putin then ordered that the export ban be lifted in July, according to a transcript of the meeting released by the government.

Russia is the world’s No. 3 grain exporter and world wheat prices soared after the ban was announced last year.

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