No grain shortage looming in Russia: PM

08:53, September 15, 2010      

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Popcorn is exhibited during the International Food and Beverage Fair in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 14, 2010. (Xinhua/Lu Jinbo)

The grain stock in Russia is sufficient for domestic consumption until next year's harvest, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a conference of the ruling United Russia party on Tuesday in the central city of Nizhny Novgorod.

Putin said this year Russian farmers had lost 30 million tons of grain, nearly half of the crops expected before the worst drought in the country stroke, news agencies reported.

He proposed the ruling party to focus on prevention of speculations with grain and help farmers overcome the consequences of the poor harvest.

Regarding the grain export ban as "a serious measure," Putin reiterated that the embargo would not be lifted "till next year's harvest."

"Once the market recovers and there is clarify regarding the grain balance, we will immediately cancel the restrictions, and I hope that in the future we will not have to resort to them again," Putin said.

"We understand that the ban on export is associated with serious negative consequences. And yet in the current circumstances, we could not act otherwise, because first of all we must defend the interests of our citizens, of ordinary consumers in Russia," he said.

The ban, originally effective from Aug. 15 to Dec. 31 this year, but then expanded until the 2011 crops harvest, was introduced after the worst drought in Russian history caused a dramatic drop in harvest to 60-65 million tons, from 97 million tons last year.

It has stirred some global market price hikes as Russia is the world's fourth largest wheat exporter.

Source: Xinhua


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