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Iran stops wheat imports, plans to export durum wheat by March-agency

(Adds detail, background)

ANKARA, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Iran has stopped importing wheat because of high domestic production and plans to export durum wheat by March 2016, Deputy Agriculture Minister Ali Ghanbari told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

"Due to high domestic production of wheat, we have stopped importing wheat ... we also plan to export about 300,000 tonnes of durum wheat by the end of this (Iranian) year," Ghanbari said on Wednesday. The Iranian year ends in March.

Iran is one of the world's biggest markets for grain, although its imports are highly variable. It has bought from the European Union, Russia, Canada, Brazil and Australia.

Ghanbari said earlier this month that Iran had bought more than eight million tonnes of wheat from its farmers since March 2015, a 1.3 million tonne increase over the previous year.

Iran, which was largely self-sufficient in wheat a decade ago, has emerged as one of the world's biggest importers.

Traders had said on Oct. 5 Iran was looking to barter some 200,000 tonnes of Iranian-produced new crop durum wheat for at least 250,000 tonnes of imported milling wheat.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by William Maclean)