Russia cuts forecast on grain to 75 mln tons

Russia cuts forecast on grain to 75 mln tons

MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Russia cuts forecast on grain to 75 mln tons

A Russian minister says the grain harvest will not reach last year’s volume. AFP photo

Russia’s agriculture minister yesterday lowered the country’s grain output forecast to 75 million tons after already reducing 2012 expectations because of drought conditions in farming regions.

The announcement by the world’s third-largest wheat exporter comes amid spiraling global food prices and efforts by developed nations to stabilize the market so that poorer countries in regions such as Africa are not affected too severely.

Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said Russia went into the year expecting to match the 2011 output of 94 million tons of grain.

Early winter frost shows effect

“We started the year expecting last year’s level,” news agencies quoted the minister as telling the state’s Vesti 24 news channel.

“Until a few days ago, we were forecasting 75-80 million tons. But today, we should probably stop talking about 80 million tons. We should be talking more about a figure closer to 75 million tons,” Fyodorov said.
Fyodorov’s initial reported comments did not explain what prompted the forecast reduction but Russia has been suffering from drought conditions in its southern farming region.

Russia’s harvest was also hurt along with those of other European countries because of early winter frost.