MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russia is considering increasing the size of its grain export quota to 17.5 million tonnes from 15 million during the last five months of the current marketing year, the agriculture ministry told Reuters on Nov. 30.

Russia, one of the world’s largest grain producers and exporters, imposed a grain export quota in the last quarter of the 2019-20 marketing season to stabilize domestic supplies at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It plans to impose another export quota from Feb. 15 to June 30 despite projections of a large crop this year.

The agriculture ministry drafted a resolution containing the proposal. It is due to be reviewed by the trade ministry and other officials, the ministry told Reuters.

If approved by the government, the quota would be distributed among exporters based on their share of July-December grain exports, according to the report.

With domestic wheat prices trending higher, some Russian consumers have been calling for an export quota on wheat to push prices lower. However, the agriculture ministry has indicated it does not support the idea.

In its latest projections, the US Department of Agriculture sees Russia producing 83.5 million tonnes of wheat and exporting 39.5 million tonnes in 2020-21, just shy of the records set in 2017-18 of 85.1 million tonnes and 41.4 million tonnes, respectively.