Russia to be a leading grain exporter

28/7 Tass 42

MOSCOW, July 28 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Elena Skrynnik is adamant that Russia will regain very soon its position in export of grain and will even become a leader.

Over less than a month, from July 1 Russia “has supplied 1.5 million tonnes, which is by 30 percent more against the past year,” she said in an interview to the Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Thursday. “Our major consumers are Turkey, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Israel, the EU,” she said.

Russia’s government has “made a decision on humanitarian supplies to Nicaragua and the DPRK,” she added.

From July 1, Russia’s government lifted the temporary ban on export of grain, which had been introduced in August of the past year following the low crops caused by the drought in the country’s several districts. In 2010, the grain crops dropped by 37 percent against the level of 2009 – to 60.9 million tonnes.

“As of today, we have threshed over 27 million tonnes of grain,” she said and forecasted the level of export at 18-20 million tonnes, should everything go smoothly.

She stressed that she is forecasting with care, but mentioned, that the country “has done everything to produce 85-90 million tonnes of grain over the current year.”

“The South and the North Caucasus federal districts are finalising gathering crops, and the information from there is positive,” she said. “The average production is 36 hundredweight per a hectare, while last year it was 32 centners.”

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev also expressed optimism at the meeting devoted to the situation in the grain market.

“Should everything develop at the present pace, we shall get the expected 90 million tonnes and even slightly more,” he said.

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