Drought in Russia causes bread price hikes abroad

15:37, August 12, 2010      

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Drought in Russia, which dramatically reduced grain production, has caused bread price hikes domestically and abroad, analysts said Wednesday.

In Moscow, the bread price has risen 20 percent in the past few days alone because of wheat production decreases and flour price hikes. The price for a loaf of bread has increased from 15 rubles (0.49 U.S. dollars) to 18 rubles (0.59 dollars).

A drought started hitting Russia in April. The unusually high summer temperatures have destroyed at least 10 million hectares of crops, or 20 percent of Russia's cultivated land in total.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday that grain production in his country is expected to decrease to between 60 and 65 million tons this year from last year's 97 million.

He said Russia's grain consumption this year is about 78 million tons, so the government would take a package of measures to bridge the gap between production and consumption.

Four days earlier, Putin announced the suspension of Russia's grain export from Aug. 15 to Dec. 31 to curb grain prices.

Russia is the third biggest wheat exporter in the world.

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