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All news / The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation proposed a mechanism for trade in agricultural products for export abroad

  • 21 Mar 2023, 10:38

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has prepared a draft presidential decree "On a special procedure for opening settlement accounts in non-bank credit institutions - central counterparties by foreign buyers of agricultural products," which provides for a mechanism for exporting agricultural products, primarily grain, for rubles.

According to the document posted on the site for the preparation of regulatory legal acts, the National Clearing Center (NCC), on the basis of applications from foreign buyers, will open special ruble accounts of type "Z" and special currency accounts of type "Z" for the admission of buyers of Russian agricultural products, the list of which will be determined by government, to exchange trading and to pay for these products.

NCC has the right to open such accounts without the personal presence of a representative of a foreign buyer.

According to the proposed mechanism, a foreign buyer will transfer funds to a special currency account of type "Z" in foreign currency, NCC will sell them at exchange auctions, credit the proceeds in rubles to a special ruble account of type "Z" of this foreign buyer and transfer the credited funds to rubles to a ruble account opened by a Russian supplier.

The mechanism does not allow the suspension of transactions on a special ruble account of type "Z" and a special currency account of type "Z", the arrest or write-off of funds on these accounts as part of the fulfillment of obligations of a foreign buyer not related to payment under a contract for the supply of agricultural products.

The authority to establish the regime of a special ruble account of type "Z" and the regime of a special currency account of type "Z" is proposed to be given to the board of directors of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

Eduard Zernin, chairman of the Union of Grain Exporters, told Interfax that the union participated in the development of a mechanism for paying in rubles. "The proposed mechanism is not exclusive, exporters can continue to make payments in foreign currency, as is happening now. The issue of using the national currencies of importing countries is not worth it, it is rather a protective mechanism in case of tightening sanctions on traditional foreign trade settlements. We feel systemic pressure on this issue, despite to repeated vociferous claims to the contrary," he said.

“At the same time, one must understand that without creating a source of ruble liquidity, it will be difficult to launch a new mechanism. But this is the problem. The Ministry of Finance opposes the provision of interstate loans in rubles to friendly countries that import our grain. ruble liquidity to foreign buyers," he said.

According to Zernin, the analogy with gas settlements is not entirely correct, "because the NCC is not a classic bank, but the clearing house of the Moscow Exchange and the National Commodity Exchange." "That is, we are talking about simplifying the access of friendly countries to exchange currency and commodity markets, and not servicing a specific foreign trade contract," he explained.