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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kiev, Astana Back 'Grain OPEC' Idea

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Friday that Kazakhstan and Ukraine had lent their support to a proposal to create an international organization to coordinate the production and trade of grain, RIA-Novosti reported.

"We have consulted over the proposal and secured the support of Ukraine and Kazakhstan," Gordeyev said, the agency reported.

Gordeyev also said the idea was currently being considered by the United States and that negotiations on the issue with Australia were planned for early September, RIA-Novosti reported.

Gordeyev first raised the idea of creating an OPEC-type body to address the problem of rising grain prices in June, adding at the time that he hoped that the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina and the European Union would support the initiative.

Russia annually exports an average of 12 million tons of grain, while Ukraine and Kazakhstan export 10 million tons and 7 million tons, respectively.

Gordeyev also said Friday that the grain harvest in 2007 would be 76 million tons net weight, of which 10 million would be exported.

In 2006, Russia produced 78.6 million tons of grain.

MT, Reuters