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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Officials Issue Different Harvest Sizes

The Agriculture Ministry expects Russia to harvest 58.5 million metric tons of grain this year, despite a lower forecast by the minister, a ministry official said Friday.

"There is no mistake," Vasily Ryabov, deputy head of the ministry's plant cultivation department, said when asked to clarify the ministry's statement with the 58.5 million tons forecast.

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Tuesday in Washington that Russia expected to harvest around 54 million tons of grain this year, cutting Russia's previous official forecast of 58 million tons.

Ryabov declined to comment on the difference between the ministry's and the minister's forecasts.

Last year Russia had a disastrous harvest of 47.8 million tons. Some analysts estimate this year's grain forecast at around 55 million tons.

The ministry said that by Monday Russian farmers had harvested 52.5 million tons of grains, including 444,300 tons of maize and 29.2 million tons of wheat.

The overall harvest is 6.1 million tons higher than at the same date last year.

Grains have been harvested on 34.3 million hectares or on 99 percent of the total area sown to grain, it said.

The ministry also revised its sugar beet harvest forecast for this year to around 14 million tons from 15.7 million tons provided last week.

Ryabov said the ministry processed incoming data on a weekly basis, making all figures published in weekly statements liable to changes.

"Corrections to forecasts are made on the basis of new data on harvest losses," he said.

"New figures may appear by Nov. 7, when we will have processed our own information and that supplied by the Sugar Producers' Union and Russia's Statistics Agency."

Russia had collected 13.387 million tons of beets from 91 percent of the harvest area by Monday, the ministry said, giving no comparison with the last year's figure.

It said farmers had so far collected 2.846 million tons of sunseeds from 82 percent of the harvest area.