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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia plans to offer for export up to 20 million tons of grain this year, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “The situation for export operations is now very good. Grain is sold on an average at 292 dollars per ton,” she said.
“It is planned to offer up to 20 million tons of grain to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, traditional buyers of Russian grain, as these contracts have been preserved,” Skrynnik said. She said Russian grain producers also look forward to contracts with East Asian countries.
The minister said grain grown in the Southern and North Caucasus districts is mostly meant for export, while grain grown in the Central and Volga districts is set aside for domestic consumption.
Stressing that the situation is now very good for export, the minister acknowledged that the situation with purchase prices within the country is not so good. The average purchase price is 5,800 rubles per ton.
“There is a need for more careful action; the interests of producers must be balanced,” said the head of state. He believes that grain suppliers to the domestic market “must have state support, also by interventions.”
“Interventions cannot be avoided, even though their volume is not very large, about 1.5 million -2 million tons.” Skrynnik said. She noted that in order to support producers there are plans for mortgage operations, when grain is stored to be bought out when needed.
Russia’s opportunities for grain export rose significantly of late. Addressing the fifth congress of the all-Russian public organization Russian Agrarian Movement in Rostov on Don on June 23, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said “Russia can export 15 million tons of grain in the current year.”