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Ukraine, Kazakhstan backed 'grain OPEC' idea - Russian minister

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Russia's agriculture minister said Friday that the idea to set up an international organization to coordinate grain markets has been backed by Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
ST. PETERSBURG, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's agriculture minister said Friday that the idea to set up an international organization to coordinate grain markets has been backed by Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Russia, which exports an average of 12 million metric tons of grain a year, proposed in June approaching major grain producers and exporters with the idea of establishing an organization to coordinate grain production and trade globally, a kind of "grain OPEC."

"We have coordinated the proposal and secured the support of our Ukrainian colleagues and Kazakhstan," Alexei Gordeyev said.

The minister added that the United States is considering the proposal and that talks on the issue with Australia have been slated for early September.

The minister said in June that some global market trends, above all, growing grain prices and demand dictated the need for countries to control their production and consumption, adding that at the moment grain cost over $200 per metric ton.

According to the minister, Russia is expected to harvest 76 million tons of grain this year.

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