TAMBOV, RUSSIA — According to news reports, First Deputy Prime Viktor Zubkov said on March 2 that Russia may extend its ban on grain exports scheduled to expire at the end of June for the rest of this year.

No decision has been made yet, he told reporters in the central Russian city of Tambov. The government will look at considerations including having “good carry-over stocks to be able to have a grain intervention fund again” before deciding on the measure, Zubkov said.

An extension to at least late 2011 is “highly likely, given the government’s focus on capping inflation and food prices in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential polls in March 2012,” New York-based political-risk researcher Eurasia Group said in an e-mailed note.