Russia says will not import grain in 2010

Russia will not import grain in 2010, an Agriculture Ministry spokesman said, adding that traders had been spreading rumours of imports to heat up the market.

Russia says will not import grain in 2010

Russia will not import grain in 2010, an Agriculture Ministry spokesman said on Friday, adding that traders had been spreading rumours of imports to heat up the market.

Analysts have said that Russia, the world's third biggest wheat exporter last year, will have to import millions of tonnes of grain for the first time in more than 10 years after its worst drought in over a century.

"Russia will not import grain in 2010. We have enough of our own grain," spokesman Oleg Aksyonov said. "This rumour is being spread around in the interests of a group of dishonest grain traders in order to heat up the market," he added.

Aksyonov said the ministry planned no measures against the traders.

"We are not a prosecutor general's office nor the interior ministry," he said. The ministry officially estimates this year's grain crop to be 60-65 million tonnes, compared with 97 million in 2009.

Aksyonov said the ministry would have a better crop picture when grains in Siberia were harvested towards the end of September.

Aksyonov said that with carryover stocks of 24 million tonnes, Russia would comfortably cover domestic needs of about 77 million tonnes, even in the worst case scenario of about 60 million tonnes of grain harvested in 2010.

The daily newspaper Vedomosti reported on Thursday, citing a source close to the Agriculture Ministry's leadership, that Russia could import at least 5 million tonnes of grain this year.

The report, rapidly denied by Aksyonov, helped send wheat prices 4 percent higher in Thursday trading.

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) economist and cereals analyst Abdolreza Abbassian said on Friday wheat output in Russia is likely to fall to 42-43 million tonnes in 2010, about 20 million tonnes down on 2009.


Reuters

Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2010, 16:51
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