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Russian Sugar-Beet Harvest Seen Below Record 2011 by Ministry

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s sugar-beet harvest is poised to decline this year from 2011’s record crop and yields are lower, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Farmers may gather more than 40 million metric tons of the roots, a report on the ministry’s website showed today. That compares with 46.2 million tons in 2011, according to its data.

Russia harvested 701,900 tons of beets from 19,700 hectares (48,678 acres) so far in the current season, up 54 percent from 456,900 tons at the same date last year, the ministry said. Yields fell to 35.6 tons a hectare from 39.6 tons a year ago, the report showed.

Refineries began processing beets on July 27, five days before the season started, according to the report. Eighteen plants are in operation out of a total of 78, and they produced 67,000 tons of sugar as of today, the ministry said.

Total national output of the sweetener for the season was forecast at between 4.7 million and 5.2 million tons by the ministry, with potential exports of 350,000 tons. Russia produced a record 5.1 million tons of sugar last year and shipped more than 300,000 tons, becoming an exporter for the first time, according to figures from the ministry.

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

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

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