Functioning wholesale markets are crucial if market reforms are to succeed in Russia. In the agricultural sector, wholesale markets are needed to provide private farmers an outlet for their production. This article traces the development of commodity exchanges in the last years of the Soviet Union and into the post-Soviet period in Russia. Based upon interviews, published, and unpublished information, the article also examines in detail how agricultural commodity exchanges operate, and how cultural and logistical problems complicate commodity exchange trade. However, the article concludes that the state's agricultural pricing policy represents the greatest obstacle to the further development of trade.

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