22 Nov 2010 18:59

Russia harvests enough grain in 2010 - Zubkov

GORKI. Nov 22 (Interfax) - The 60.5 million tonnes of grain that Russia harvested this year will be enough for domestic needs and to form a buffer stock for 2011, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said at a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.

The situation on the grain market "isn't bad" thanks to the government's measures, including the grain export embargo and subsidized grain shipments, Zubkov said.

"Regions are buying grain in central Russia and now in the south. Prices are acceptable at 6,000 rubles a tonne," he said.

Prices last year were "half that, but they were rock bottom. Farmers lost a lot of money, and they ought to make something this year," he said.

"If we put intervention fund grain on the market now, the farmers would not be getting anything for their produce after a month or two," Zubkov said.

"That wouldn't be right. We've put a lot of effort and money into support for crop farming," said the Russian president. "We need a competitive sector," Medvedev said.

"We're looking at the market closely," Zubkov said.

Are there any symptoms of price growth?" asked Medvedev.

"Not yet, the situation looks stable, so I'd not have thought it would make sense to sell intervention fund grain right now," Zubkov said.

Zubkov also said that flour exports had been permitted from January 1," therefore many regions with a grain surplus ought to make flour and sell it." The regions have every opportunity to mill grain, he said.

"We're preserving all the rules on the grain market that exist given that the situation in the grain market in general is stable," Medvedev said. "If any nuances do arise, report to the government, but I hope the regime in which we can calmly get by until next year stays intact," he said.