Potato harvest grows by 30 per cent

Russia is expecting an almost 30% increase in the potato harvest, announced the Head of the Department for Regulating the Agribusiness Market and Infrastructure Development of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, Ilya Shestakov, at a press conference on 21 June. Expressed in figures, the harvest is expected to bring in 27 million t.

As a consequence of the drought in summer 2010, the Russian Federation only harvested 21 million t by comparison with 31 million t in 2009. The rapid decline of the harvest in 2010 led to a re-distribution of consumer demand, explained Shestakov: Fewer potatoes are being eaten, and instead more pasta. This is also confirmed by potato import figures, reported the Head of Department. The Ministry had been expecting import figures in the range of 4 million t, but in fact potato imports only amounted to 1.5 million t.

Estimating the consequences of the ban on vegetable imports from the EU, Shestakov stressed that this had in no way affected prices. The imports came chiefly in the winter-spring season to fill the gap caused by lack of domestic production. At present domestic vegetables were arriving on the market so that prices were dropping by 2% a week. Altogether, the Head of Department assessed the situation on the agribusiness market as very stable and predictable.

Source: Interfax Selskoe khozyaystvo i prodovolstvie, No. 24 of22.06.2011

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