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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Cuts Grain Harvest Forecast

Russia has lowered its 1999 grain harvest forecast to between 57 and 58 million tons and asked the United States for aid to make up for an expected shortfall, the deputy prime minister responsible for agriculture said Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbak announced the revised forecast, down from a previous official forecast of between 60 and 62 million tons, at a news conference, and he said Russia aimed to make up an 8-million-ton deficit of mainly feed grain with U.S. donations of more than 5 million tons.

"All categories of farms will collect 57 to 58 million tons of grain," Shcherbak said. "The lower harvest is explained by a lack of fuel and agricultural machinery," he said, while also blaming bad weather.

"We are working on the possibility of supplies from the United States of over 5 million tons of grain, basically feed grain ... in the form of a donation," Shcherbak said. "Negotiations still continue."

Washington said last week that Russia had asked for the food aid.