24 Nov 2010 17:21

Russian grain market stable, grain suffices until next summer - Zubkov

MOSCOW. Nov 24 (Interfax) - Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has said Russia has enough grain to last her until the start of the next agricultural year, and that the country's grain market is stable.

"There should be no problems. The situation is generally stable. The harvest came to 60.3 million tonnes. And considering the 21.7 million tonnes of carry-over stocks, we have fully supplied ourselves with food-grade and fodder grain until July 1 of next year, that is, until the next agricultural year begins," Zubkov said in an Izvestia newspaper interview published on Wednesday.

As to whether the Russian government was getting set for grain-market intervention operations, Zubkov said, "It's early to talk about the year ahead, but right now there are none of the prerequisites."

"This year the [import] quota for poultry meat was at 700,000 tonnes, in 2011 it will be cut in half [to] 350,000 tonnes," he said. The government had earlier been planning a quota of 600,000 tonnes for next year, and of 550,000 tonnes for 2012, Izvestia notes.

"At this time last year, 20% more had been planted than now," Zubkov said.

"We will be increasing the land area planted under spring grain by almost 25%. Everything, as always, relies on money. For the spring fieldwork in 2011 our growers need about 150 billion rubles in credits. But our banks always respond in timely fashion to requests from business, and I think they will also help this year. And we'll get everything done promptly," Zubkov said.