25 Aug 2009 13:08

Agriculture Ministry proposes interventions for ultra-pasteurized milk, butter, cheese

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) - The Russian Agriculture Ministry has proposed holding procurement interventions for ultra-pasteurized milk, butter and hard cheeses, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said at a meeting of ministry officials on Tuesday.

At present, the government only holds interventions on the grain and dry milk markets.

The average price of milk sold by agricultural producers fell 9.5% to 10.73 rubles per kilogram in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008. Prices declined 4.2% to 9.84 rubles per kilogram in June. The biggest declines were seen in the Volga Federal District (12.9%), the Central Federal District (11.9%) and the Urals Federal District (10.4%). Milk prices rose 16% in the Far Eastern Federal District, the only region where prices increased.

Milk production fell 0.5% to 9.5 million tonnes at Russian farms in the half, while agricultural organizations edged down milk output 0.1% to 8.8 million tonnes. Average milk yield per cow grew 5.3% to 2,074 kilograms at agricultural organizations in the half.

As of August 1, all farms had 9.2 million cows, down 2.6% from the same date of 2008. Agriculture organizations held 3.8 million of the cows, down 2.9%.