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UPDATE 1-Russian economy ministry says it is concerned about strong food exports

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MOSCOW, May 13 (Reuters) - The Russian economy ministry is studying possible measures to address the issue of strong food exports amid globally higher prices for food and commodities, Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said on Thursday.

Russia, which competes for the rank of the world’s largest wheat exporter with the European Union, imposed some grain export curbs this year in an attempt to rein in domestic food inflation.

The economy ministry will now study the need to change the existing curbs given that global inflation has accelerated, the minister said.

“What really concerns us is that global food and commodity prices, in general, have resumed their growth in April,” Reshetnikov told reporters.

Russia kept on exporting food in April despite “significantly increased” export duties, Reshetnikov said.

The economy ministry is sticking to its year-end forecast for Russia’s inflation at 4.3%, Reshetnikov said, which is below the central bank’s forecast of 4.7%-5.2%.

Rising inflation, boosted by rouble weakness, has prompted the central bank to reverse its monetary easing cycle and raise rates twice so far this year, while indicating more hikes could follow despite downside risks that monetary tightening poses. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Polina Devitt; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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