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Press Release: UPDATE 1-Russia could limit some food exports, sees no deficit of grain

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MOSCOW, March 17 (Reuters) - Russia could limit exports of some food products if the coronavirus outbreak leads to a shortage, its officials said on Tuesday, adding that the domestic agriculture market remains stable and no deficit of grain was expected.

Grain exports from Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, jumped last week as the rouble weakened against the dollar and fell to four-year lows.

"In general, there is enough stockpile of agriculture and food products, including grain, in Russia," Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev told a meeting of top government officials, which included President Vladimir Putin.

"We do not expect any deficit until the new crop arrives."

Russia has reported 114 cases of coronavirus, but no deaths, and has introduced a raft of economic and social measures to limit the spread of the virus.

"We are prepared to impose restrictions on the export of essential foodstuffs if a shortage of such goods arises, to fulfil the needs of the domestic market," said First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.

"But today, with the exception of a very limited number of positions, we do not see such a need," he told the same meeting.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Alexander Marrow and Polina Devitt, Editing by William Maclean)

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