Russia Grain Harvest Declines 23% to 66.4 Million Tons

Russia, the third-biggest wheat exporter last season, harvested 66.4 million metric tons of grains as of Sept. 28, compared with 86.5 million tons a year earlier, Deputy Agriculture Minister Ilya Shestakov told reporters today in Moscow.

That is a decline of about 23 percent after dry weather damaged crops and led to cuts in harvest estimates. Shestakov reiterated the Agriculture Ministry’s target of 72 million to 73 million tons of grain this year.

Domestic prices are about 8,658 rubles ($278) a ton for third-grade wheat, he said. The state may sell 500,000 tons of grain from stockpiles in state auctions to cut prices, he said. The starting price of the auctions most likely would be 7,500 rubles a ton, he said.

(Corrects state grain plans in last paragraph.)
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