UPDATE 1-Russia discusses buying metals for state stockpile - ministry

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MOSCOW, June 1 (Reuters) - Russia’s industry ministry has held preliminary discussions with metals producers about buying their products for the state stockpile, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Moscow has been keeping a close eye on rising raw materials costs in the construction sector as part of efforts to keep domestic commodity prices stable even as they rise at the global level. The government raised taxes for metals companies in 2020.

The purchases of metal products would be for Rosrezerv, the Russian state stockpile, the ministry added. It gave no further details. The size and the list of Rosrezerv’s holdings is a state secret in Russia.

The meeting at the industry ministry was held a day after First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said in a TV interview that Russian metals producers could face a demand to pay 100 billion roubles ($1.4 billion) in additional tax after they raised domestic market prices.

“Additional tax exemptions from the industry were not addressed during the meeting,” the industry ministry said.

Russian metals producers, however, agreed to consider keeping metals prices stable for state defence industry projects and lower prices for long-term state construction projects, the ministry added. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Jane Merriman)