December 25, 2008
Russia revises 2008 grain crop forecast
Russia has increased its 2008 grain crop forecast to more than 108 million tonnes from the previous 105.5 million tonnes, according to Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev on Wednesday (Dec 24).
If the forecast comes true, it will be a new record volume since 1992. Last year, Russia harvested 81.8 million tonnes of grain.
Analysts estimate Russia has a grain surplus of about 30 million tonnes. The government intends to export 20-25 million tonnes of grain in the 2008/09 crop year started in July. Russia aims to export 11.5 million tonnes before the New Year and another 10 million in the first half of 2009.
The government has also allocated RUB3 billion (US$106 million) to buy 19-20 million tonnes for its state reserves.
Gordeyev also suggested building a large grain terminal in the country's far east to export grain to Asian markets, but he said such a move would require support from the central government.