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Russia sharply cuts grain area
Reuters
MOSCOW , Russia's total grain area sown for the 2003 harvest is officially estimated at a record low of 42.5 million hectares, 5 million hectares down from last year.
The Total area sown to wheat dropped to 22.2 million hectares, compared with 25.7 million hectares in 2002.
A decline in winter grain plantings mostly accounted for the fall in total grain area.
In 2002, the total area sown to winter grains for the 2003 harvest dropped to 14.36 million hectares, nearly 12 percent down on the previous year.
The decline in winter sowings was coupled with a poor plantings state and abnormally high winter-kill losses.
The losses in winter plantings were particularly high in the Volgograd, Restive and Serration regions.
The total area lost is estimated at about 26 percent of the total area sown to winter plantings last autumn the share of lost plantings normally averages some 10-11 percent.
As a result, Russia's total winter grain area for the 2003 harvesting is estimated at 10.3 million hectares, 4.3 million hectares down from last year.
Of this, the winter wheat area is put at 7.4 million hectares, against 10.1 million hectares in 2002.
Official expectations that the drop in winter grain area could be offset with larger spring plantings were not realised.
A late spring seriously delayed the start of spring sowing, particularly in Siberia and the Urals.
In addition, the increasing shortage of farm machines and equipment for sowing hampered the planting progress in Russia.
Total spring grain area in Russia is estimated at 32.15 million hectares, compared with last year's record low of 32.9 million hectares.
A drop in spring wheat plantings mostly accounts for total decline in spring grain area.
The estimate for Russia's total spring area for grain in 2003 does not include usage of some plantings, sown initially for grain, for green feeding and silage.
It particularly relates to maize plantings.
Normally, 0.5-0.7 million hectares, sown for grain, is used for feeding.
MGR Archive 23.7.2003
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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