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Russian grain crop affected by cold spell
Prime-Tass, April 7, 2004
The sharp drop in temperatures in early April did not cause any major damage to Russian winter grain crops, an official with the Russian weather center said Wednesday.
The cold weather was offset by relatively warm soil, which had accumulated heat during the previous warm week, the official said. Crops might have been damaged only at some fields in the southern Krasnodar Region, where the plants had begun sprouting.

The cold weather also weakened the crops, which could lead to lower production yields. But the current warm and humid weather could mitigate this negative effect, the official added.

Russian farmers planted winter grains on 13.6 million hectares for this year's harvest, down 11% on the year. But the crops survived on a bigger territory than a year ago, when bad winter weather destroyed 25% of the crops. As a result, Russia's grain planted area this year is expected to increase by 2.5 million hectares from last year's level, according to a forecast by the Federal Agriculture Agency.

The agency forecasts the 2004 grain output at 75-80 million tonnes in bunker weight. This corresponds to around 69-74 million tonnes in clean weight.

Last year, Russia's grain output declined to 67.2 million tonnes in clean weight, down from 86.6 million in 2002.

Russia emerged as a big grain exporter in the 2002-03 marketing year (July-June), shipping abroad around 17 million tonnes of grain. In July-January, exports amounted to around 6.5 million tonnes, while the overall 2003-04 exports are expected to exceed 7 million tonnes.
MGR Archive 8.4.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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