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Russia eyes 2011 grain prices

Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM   |   Comments

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MOSCOW, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Russian grain producers are accused of hoarding their harvest in anticipation of higher prices in 2011, a Russian deputy prime minister said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said during an Agricultural Ministry meeting in Moscow the grain market in Russia may need government support.

"Despite a relatively acceptable price situation on the market, some farms are unwilling to sell grain until spring in the expectation that prices will go up," he was quoted by state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

He said it might be necessary to enact "some mechanisms" to keep grain prices stable.

A lack of rain over much of Russia during the summer 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 of dollars.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warned that wheat stocks need to increase by 3.5 percent and maize by 6 percent in 2011 compared with 2010 levels to meet global demands.

Many food prices have already soared passed 2009 levels.

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