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Russia's agri ministry: grain export quota mechanism relevant despite large crop

* The export quota will not be restrictive - union of exporters

* The exact mechanism is still being discussed - sources

* The quota could be 20 mln T of grain for Jan-June - sources

By Polina Devitt

MOSCOW, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Russia's agriculture ministry said on Monday that the country's grain export quota mechanism, used in April-June amid the coronavirus outbreak, remains relevant despite the large crop its farmers are harvesting this year.

Russia, one of the world's biggest wheat exporters, has said it could set the grain export quota for January-June 2021 if there is a need to secure domestic supplies.

"Despite good prospects of harvest, the mechanism of non-tariff quotas for grain exports remains relevant and the agriculture ministry plans to improve and apply this measure in the future," the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

Oksana Lut, the deputy agriculture minister, told the largest exporters of Russian grain about it while meeting them on Monday, it added.

The ministry did not provide any other detail on the possible quota.

The Russian Union of Grain Exporters said on social media after the meeting that the grain quota would not be restrictive in the current marketing season, which runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

The exact mechanism for the quota is still being discussed, two sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

According to them, the size of the quota could be 20 million tonnes of grain for January-June 2021.

The agriculture ministry did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.

Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is widely expected to harvest the largest grain crop since a record 2017. Farmers have already harvested 121.8 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning from 88% of the area. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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