Topic: Soviet Union/economy of Russia

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Great Grain Robbery (1972)

United States International relations Soviet Union Agriculture Trade Soviet Union/economy of Russia

The great grain robbery was the July 1972 purchase of 10 million tons of grain (mainly wheat and corn) from the United States by the Soviet Union at subsidized prices, which caused global grain prices to soar. Crop shortfalls in 1971 and 1972 forced the Soviet Union to look abroad for grain, hoping to prevent famine or crisis. Soviet negotiators worked out a deal to buy grain on credit, but quickly exceeded their credit limit. The American negotiators did not realize that both the Soviets and the world grain market had suffered shortfalls, and thus chose to subsidize the purchase. The strategy backfired and intensified the crisis with global food prices rose at least 30%, and grain stockpiles were decimated.

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