UPDATE2: Ministry cuts RussiaТs 2018 grain harvest forecast to 106 mln tns
(Adds comments, details in last two paragraphs)
MOSCOW, Jan 31 (PRIME) -- The Agriculture Ministry has lowered its forecast for RussiaТs 2018 grain harvest to 106 million tonnes from 110.6 million tonnes projected earlier, a ministry official told PRIME on Wednesday.
УThe planned figure of the state program is 106 million tonnes,Ф he said.
In 2017, Russia had a record high grain harvest of 134.1 million tonnes.
Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov said that the government will subsidize grain transportation by rail from regions to ports for exports annually.
УThe mechanism has started working, and we will actively apply it, I believe each year,Ф he said.
In December 2017, the government decided to provide subsidies to Russian Railways for grain transportation at a preferential tariff from 13 Russian regions to southern, northwestern, and Far Eastern ports until the end of 2018. The volume of grain transportation from these regions is estimated at 3.18 million tonnes.
Pyotr Chekmaryov, head of the Agriculture MinistryТs crop farming department, said that Russian annual grain exports should not fall below 45 million tonnes.
The ministryТs official forecast for grain exports in the 2017Ц2018 agricultural year amounts to 45Ц47 million tonnes. Wheat exports can reach 40 million tonnes. Last agricultural year, grain exports stood at 35.474 million tonnes, including 27.075 million tonnes of wheat.