UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan to introduce quotas on wheat and flour exports

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ALMATY, March 30 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan will introduce quotas on its exports of wheat and flour and lift the ban on flour exports introduced this month to ensure steady domestic supply amid the coronavirus crisis, the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry provided no exact date in its statement but said it would soon publish monthly quota figures and allocation procedures. Kazakhstan had 9.2 million tonnes of grain in stock as of March 1, it said, including 6.4 million tonnes of food grains.

The Central Asian nation, a supplier of wheat and flour to its neighbours in the region and some more remote countries such as Afghanistan, this month declared a state of emergency until April 15, in response to the coronavirus outrbeak, which it may extend.

But flour millers have asked the government to lift a blanket bank on exports, saying the country was well-stocked and it made little sense to restrict sales of flour without controlling the movement of wheat. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Susan Fenton and Barbara Lewis)