MOSCOW- Russia's agriculture ministry plans to set a quota of 20 million tonnes for grain exports in the first half of 2020, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a draft of the ministry's proposal.
This follows comments last month by the agriculture ministry that Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, was looking for a new way to restrict grain exports at the level of the country's exportable surplus under "certain market conditions".
The agriculture ministry's draft, which is yet to be reviewed by the government, sees the quota at 20 million tonnes of grain in Jan. 1-June 30, 2020, it added.
The ministry declined to comment.
It previously said it expected Russia to export 45 million tonnes of grain, including 36 million tonnes of wheat, in the 2019/20 marketing season which started on July 1, 2019 and ends on June 30, 2020.
Russia exported 23.7 million tonnes of grain, including 20.6 million tonnes of wheat, between the start of the 2019/20 season on July 1 and Jan. 10, according to customs data. Total grain exports were down 18% from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise) ((Polina.Devitt@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 12 42; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))