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Russia to ban rice imports from Pakistan on March 19
Russia will place a ban on the import of rice and other plant products from Pakistan on March 19, Mikhail Maslov, head of the phytosanitary supervision department at Russian food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, told Interfax.

The ban will be applied to supplies of Pakistani plant products from other countries, as well, he said. The decision to ban rice imports was made after specialists from a Krasnodar laboratory discovered live pests and larvae of the Khapra beetle in a 501-tonne rice shipment from Pakistan at the Novorossiisk port in southern Russia.

The Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is a very dangerous pest that can destroy up to 30% of grain in one storage facility in a season.

The beetle is quarantined in a number of countries, including in the European Union, he said.

Products shipped to Russia from Pakistan prior to March 19 will be thoroughly inspected and disinfected, he said. This also applies to the equipment used to transport them to Russia, he said.

In addition, all facilities that store Pakistani rice will be fumigated with the use of extremely toxic fumigators, which are required to eliminate the pests, he said.

A timeframe for the ban has yet to be determined. "The issue of resuming supplies can be resolved only after Russian inspectors check the Pakistani phytosanitary certification system," he said.

Russian phytosanitary specialists had planned to inspect the Pakistani quality control system for rice exports, however they never received an invitation from Pakistani officials. Dangerous pests have been discovered in Pakistani rice exports to Russia in the past.

The shipment at the Novorossiisk port has been seized. Russian veterinary officials have suggested to their Pakistani colleagues that a joint analysis of the consignment be made.
MGR Archive 15.3.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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