MOSCOW, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- There will be a domestic surplus of grain in Russia of about 13 million tons, the Russian agriculture minister declared.
A lack of rain over much of Russia contributed in part to a Kremlin decision to halt grain exports for the year. The drought wiped out nearly 30 percent of the grain harvest, costing the country billions.
Yelena Skrynnik, the country's agriculture minister, said 54 million tons of grain were harvested so far this year and another 10 million tons were expected from the Siberian and Urals regions.
"Therefore, taking into account our 26 million-ton reserves, our grain resources will reach 90 million tons," Skrynnik was quoted by state news agency RIA Novosti as saying. The report added that the expected yield was 13 million tons more than required to meet domestic demands.
Moscow said it would revisit the export ban in October. The decision to halt exports already led to an increase in global grain prices, however.
The minister added she was implementing subsidies on transportation and agricultural produces in order to control gain prices. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he was supporting a relief program for farmers affected by the drought.