February 1, 2011
Russia will start selling grain from government inventories on Feb. 4 to meet demand and curb domestic prices, Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Korolev said.
The state has 9.5 million metric tons of stockpiled grain and plans to sell as much as 2.5 million tons within five months before the next harvest, Korolev told reporters in Moscow today. This will consist mostly of grain purchased from farmers during 2008.
Russia’s grain harvest fell 37 percent last year to 60.9 million tons because of the country’s worst drought in at least half a century. The government banned cereal exports in August and announced plans to sell grain from state reserves to support the domestic market.
This year’s grain harvest may reach 85 million tons, exceeding domestic consumption projected at as much as 74 million tons, according to the Agriculture Ministry. The grain- export ban may be lifted from July 1, the government has said.