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MOSCOW: Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon said on Friday it had lowered its forecast for Russia’s 2020/21 wheat exports by 0.2 million tonne to 38.9 million tonnes. Russia doubled its wheat export tax to 50 euros ($59) per tonne last month in an attempt to curb high food price inflation amid the coronavirus pandemic. The tax was at 25 euro/tonne on Feb. 15-28.

The current low pace of wheat exports brought the estimate down, as did the fall in export prices in March, Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said in a note.

“The domestic market is adjusting to the new taxes more slowly than expected,” Sovecon said. Uncertainty about how to calculate a permanent formula-based export tax for wheat from June 2 was also a factor, Sovecon added. The introduction of floating export taxes in June could support wheat exports toward the end of the 2020/21 season, but might change the parameters for other crops, such as wheat and barley, Sovecon said.