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Russia Plans to Boost Milk Production to Reduce Need for Imports

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March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Russia plans to boost domestic milk production by almost 20 percent by 2020 and further reduce the need for imports, Yelena Skrynnik, agriculture minister, said.

Milk output will climb to 38 million metric tons from about 32 million tons last year, Skrynnik said in Moscow today. Production rose about 4 percent in the first two months this year as imports declined 18 percent in January, she said.

“Duties on imports of dry milk, cheese and butter are increasing, and we are bringing up output and reducing production costs because of government subsidies,” said Andrei Danilenko, head of Russia’s National Milk Producers Union in Moscow. Last year, imports of dry fat-free milk dropped about 40 percent whole dry milk shipments fell about 51 percent, according to data from the union.

This year, the government will spend more than 5 billion rubles ($171 million) to support dairy cow farms, Skrynnik said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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