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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Grain Imports This Year

VOLZHSKY UTYOS, Central Russia — No grain will be imported this year since the harvest is expected to equal 65 million metric tons, Russia’s top agricultural official said Thursday.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev, who is also agriculture minister, traveled to the Volga River region of central Russia with President Vladimir Putin. Current forecasts indicate a harvest of 65 million metric tons, but "there is hope for an even larger harvest," Interfax quoted him as saying.

Gordeyev said that in spite of a shortage of fodder grain, the nation will not turn to foreign producers. Instead, he said, the nation should become a grain exporter. He boasted that this year, for the first time, vegetable oil and even beer had been exported to Germany.

But Putin struck a pessimistic note. He told regional leaders that more than half of the nation’s agricultural enterprises were inefficient, losing between 6 percent to 7 percent of their equipment every year and replacing only 1 percent, Itar-Tass news agency reported.