MOSCOW, February 5 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is expected to chair a conference on the situation on the market of grain and on preparations for the spring sowing season, the governmental press service said.
The press officials indicated that Medvedev will hold the meeting, which will involve the governors of a number of regions, in the video conference mode. He will speak from his countryside residence near Moscow.
The scope of his interlocutors includes the governors of the Altai territory, as well as the Belgorod, Orenburg, Saratov, and Tambov regions.
Focus will be given in the course of discussions to the current situation on the market of grain and winter crops. Also, the participants will discuss the forecast for the spring crops in 2013 and will look at the availability of material, technical, and financial resources.
Last year’s drought slashed the gross harvest of grain crops by 25% from the previous year. The Russian farmers took in 70.7 million tons of grain.
Considering the carryover reserves and the forecasted imports, the overall resources of grain will reach 91.3 million tons. The government hopes this will make it possible to meet the domestic market demands in the amount of 68.8 million tons.
Open market sales of grain in the framework of state commodity interventions were launched October 23, 2012, for the purpose of stabilizing the market and boosting the supplies of grain. The interventions made it possible to slow down the growth of prices on the Russian domestic market and the current dynamics of prices sees their week-on-week increase at 1% to 1.5%.
According to the statistics provided by Russia’s Federal Customs Service, exports of grain stood at 13.48 million tons at the end of January while the imports of grain amounted to 486,000 tons.
Forecasts suggest in addition to this that supplies of grain may increase to 0.7 million tons to 1 million tons, mostly from Kazakhstan, in second half of the 2013 agricultural season.
On the whole, 15.8 million hectares of farm fields will be taken up by winter crops, while spring crops will be planted on an area of around 51 million hectares. The farming sector executives plan to pay special attention this year to fodder spring crops and the farmlands taken up by the latter will increase to 990,000 hectares.
To effectuate the spring planting season, the farmers will need 2.09 million tons of diesel fuel and 405,000 tons of gasoline this year. Considering the forecast for fuel prices for the period of February to June, the expenses for purchasing engine fuel will likely run at 87.9 billion rubles /USD 1=RUB 30.5/.
By February 1, 2013, the farming sector enterprises purchased 234,500 tons of mineral fertilizers. The availability of seeding materials accounts for 96.1% of what is required.