Russia’s Government Scheduled to Discuss Grain Crop on Aug. 31

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich is scheduled to lead a meeting with some government members and agriculture industry experts and participants to discuss harvesting data and grain exports on Aug. 31, according to his press service.

The meeting is to follow up on a similar gathering on Aug. 8, after which Dvorkovich said the grain market had no need for immediate interventions such as grain sales from state stockpiles or export curbs in the 2012 calendar year.

Since then, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov cut his estimate of the national crop to the lower figure of a range forecast by the ministry earlier this month. The country has been gripped by a drought.

Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last season, may harvest 20 percent less grain this year as its crop is now estimated at 75 million metric tons, Fedorov said Aug. 23. The previous estimate was 75 million to 80 million tons.

Fedorov said the harvest will be sufficient to meet domestic needs “100 percent,” speaking at an agricultural exhibition in St. Petersburg yesterday.

Russia which shipped 21.6 million tons of wheat in the last season, may rank fifth among exporters after the U.S., Australia, Canada and the European Union and ship 8 million tons in 2012-13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated.

Russia’s export potential is seen at 10 million to 12 million tons, Dvorkovich said Aug. 8. The country exported more than 4 million tons of grains by Aug. 22, down from 4.9 million tons a year earlier, according to data released on the Agriculture Ministry’s website yesterday.

Wheat for December delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $8.74 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 11:36 a.m. Moscow time. Prices are up 34 percent this year.

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