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MOSCOW, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Russia's agriculture ministry will set up a new grain exporters' union to better understand the needs of the market, it said on Monday, after its regular meeting with the country's grain traders.
The new union will be created by around April, when the ministry plans to start discussing grain export plans with traders for the 2019/20 marketing season which starts on July 1, it said.
The ministry also said it did not plan to impose any restrictions on grain exports. It kept its forecast for Russia's 2018/19 grain exports at 42 million tonnes, including 37 million tonnes of wheat.
"The agriculture ministry is initiating the creation of a new association, new union of grain exporters," the minister, Dmitry Patrushev, was quoted as saying in a statement.
"We need to understand the common trends, the common demands of the market, which is why it is necessary to form a strong association that will represent the interests of the main exporters," he added.
The ministry called for the participants of the meeting to join the work in setting up the new union.
Major exporters of Russian grain already have a lobby group which represents their interests. It was not immediately clear why the agriculture ministry was not satisfied with the current arrangement.
Russia has exported 32.6 million tonnes of grains, including 27.3 million tonnes of wheat, since the start of the current 2018/19 marketing year. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Mark Potter)