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BERLIN, January 22. /TASS/. Russia’s agriculture ministry expects farming production growth in 2017 to be at the level of the previous years, i.e. 2.5-4%, Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said on Sunday.
"In 2017, we expect that positive dynamics will be preserved, production growth is forecasted to be at the level of previous years," he said on the sidelines of the meeting of the Group of Twenty agriculture ministers.
According to preliminary results of 2016, agricultural production growth was four percent, or more than in the previous year (2.6%). In 2014, the growth was 3.5% Such growth rates were achieved thanks to the food embargo and state support, among other things, he noted.
"In the past three year, the sector demonstrated annual growth. These results were achieved thanks to on-going state support and the use of possibilities that presented themselves after Russia had suspended imports of certain products from a number of states in 2014," Tkachev said.
Russia’s agriculture ministry has adjusted its grain export forecasts for the current agricultural year (from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) to set it at 35-37 million tonnes.
The ministry’s earlier forecast has a figure of 35 million tonnes.
"The forecast for grain export in 2016/2017 is 35-37 million tonnes. Exports will depend on prices on key crops on the global market, the Russian ruble exchange rate to the U.S. dollar, and on dynamics of the growth of logistics expenses during transportation by motor and railroad transport in 2017," Tkachev said on the sidelines of a meeting of the G20 agriculture ministers in Berlin.
According to the Russian minister, the country’s export potential is about 40 million tonnes. "This is what we can sell on the global market not harming domestic supply and preserving a necessary volume of carryover reserves," he said.
Since the beginning of the current agricultural season, Russia has exported 21.28 million tonnes of grain (as of January 18), or by 0.3% less than in the same period last season (21.344 million tonnes). "However wheat exports have increased by 4.8% on the same period of the 2015/2016 season to reach 16.734 million tonnes," the Russian minister said.
According to preliminary data, Russia had a record-breaking harvest of grain in 2016 - 119.1 million tonnes, or by 14% up on 2015 (104.8 million ton