Grain harvest key to hitting 6-7% CPI target says central bank

This year’s grain harvest is a key factor in whether the Russian government will achieve its 6-7% consumer price inflation target, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said on Tuesday.

“I believe, the 6-7% goal is achievable if the harvest this year is no worse than average,” Ignatyev told a meeting of the Association of Russian banks.

Last week the Agriculture Ministry raised its grain harvest forecast to 85-90 million tons from an earlier forecast of 85-86 million tons.

The worst drought and heat in the history of meteorological observations hit Russia last year, pushing grain production down nearly 40% to 60.9 million tons and forcing the government to prohibit grain exports for the first time since the Soviet era.

In 2009, Russia harvested 97 million tons of grain and 108 million tons in 2008.

MOSCOW, April 5 (RIA Novosti)

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