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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nemtsov Predicts Increased Grain Crop

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Central Russia -- Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov said Thursday that Russia's net grain crop this year would be 80 million metric tons. His forecast is more than official government predictions of around 70 million tons.

Nemtsov, former governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region, did not say why he thought output would rise above official predictions.

When asked about imports, he said: "We are not going to buy grain this year."

He was apparently referring to the fact that the government has not imported grain in recent years, and not to the fact that Russia's private wheat and wheat-flour trade has soared.

Russia began its harvest in late June, hoping to better last year's 69.3 million tons, which was the second worst crop in three decades. Declining consumption and lower livestock numbers have lessened the need for imported grains.