March 20, 2019 / 1:40 PM / a month ago

Russia's agmin ready to work with grain export union

MOSCOW, March 20 (Reuters) - Russia’s Agriculture Ministry is ready to work with the existing union of grain exporters, but it would still like to change how exporters work and for there to be tougher quality controls on grain exports, ministry officials said on Wednesday.

The agriculture ministry said last month that it planned to set up a new association of grain exporters to better understand the needs of the market.

The ministry on Wednesday cited Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut as saying the ministry agreed that exporters remain in the existing union, but “change their approach to their work”.

Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, has stepped up checks on exporters since last year, fuelling speculation it could limit exports in the 2018/19 season which has periodically supported global wheat prices in recent months.

The ministry still plans to tighten quality controls on grain exports, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Wednesday.

Patrushev said work was needed in 2019 to get rid of gaps in the legal framework governing state control over grain quality and safety and product processing, including during export loading.

“Particular attention will be given to the development and implementation of a single tracking system,” Patrushev was quoted by TASS news agency as saying. (Reporting by Olga Popova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Louise Heavens)

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