* Russia discusses measures to stabilise food prices

* Ministries to submit proposals to PM by Dec. 14, 0600 GMT
(Adds detail on quotas, another source)

MOSCOW, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Russian officials are considering
imposing a wheat export tax of for Feb. 15-June 30 as one
measure to stabilise domestic prices, four sources familiar with
discussions told Reuters on Friday.

The sources familiar with government plans said the tax
could be set at around 2,000 roubles ($27.3) per tonne.

One of the sources said that a tax of 25 euros ($30.30) is
also under consideration.

He also said that the government plans to introduce
temporary quotas for overseas shipments of wheat, rye, barley
and maize.

The source said the quota may be set at 17.5 million tonnes
for all the grains, as previously
proposed.

The exporting duty for rye, barley and maize within the
quota is planned at zero. A duty of 25 euros per tonne might be
levied on wheat exports within that quota, the source said.

If the exporting volumes exceed the quotas, the tax for the
grains will be raised, he said, to as high as 50% of the customs
price, but no less than 100 euros per tonne.

Russia is also considering imposing a price cap for domestic
sunflower oil and sugar prices following President Vladimir
Putin’s criticism of rising food prices.

Discussions at several ministries are still ongoing, the
sources said.

Officials are considering a unified size of export tax for
all classes of wheat – despite varied prices for them – as it
would make it easier for them to manage payments, one of the
sources added.

The agriculture ministry did not reply to a Reuters request
for comment.

Such a single-sized tax, if approved, would be a step back
from a formula-based tax which Russia used in times of sharp
wheat price growth several years ago.

Domestic prices for the 3rd class of wheat in the European
part of Russia and excluding delivery were at 15,950 roubles
($215) per tonne at the end of last week. Export prices for
wheat with 12.5% protein in the Black Sea ports were at $252 a
tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

Putin criticised officials and market players over rising
prices for bread, flour, sugar and sunflower oil earlier this
week amid the COVID-19 crisis and Russians’ falling incomes.

Prime Minister has said Russia would take
action and requested the ministries submit proposals by Dec. 14,
0600 GMT.

Earlier on Friday, Sovecon agriculture consultancy said it
had downgraded its forecast for Russia’s 2021 wheat crop to 76.8
million tonnes from the previously expected 81.0 million tonnes.

($1 = 73.2470 roubles)

($1 = 0.8255 euros)
(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov, Polina Devitt and Darya
Korsunskaya; additional reporting and writing by Vladimir
Soldatkin; editing by Jane Merriman, Elaine Hardcastle and Sonya
Hepinstall)

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