MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Following rumors last week of a desire by the Russian government to curb wheat exports in 2018-19, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Sept. 3 that it does not see the need to impose an export duty on grains or to curb grain exports.

The speculation had led to an increase in wheat prices last week, but Monday’s announcement sent wheat futures lower at the Chicago Board of Trade.

The Agricultural Ministry held a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday in which the topic was discussed.

Fueling the speculation that Russia would curb exports was this year’s smaller crop, which was the result of dry weather across much of the country.

Russia’s 2018-19 wheat crop is forecast at 68 million tonnes by the USDA, well below last year’s record of 85 million tonnes.

The USDA also predicts wheat exports from Russia to fall from a record 42 million tonnes in 2017-18 to 35 million tonnes in 2018-19.