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Russian 2014 Grain Crop Seen Little Changed from 2013

Russia's grain crop this year is expected to be no lower than 90 million tons, in line with last year's 90.4 million tons, as an improved state of winter grains is likely to outweigh a possible decline of spring grain acreage, the country's industry lobby said Monday.

The Grain Producers' Union expects this season's winter grain losses to be lower than a year ago, Interfax reported.

"Previously, there were expectations that 6 per cent of [winter grain] sowings might perish, but now this forecast has been lowered to 4.9 percent and may be even smaller," the union's president Arkady Zlochevsky told a news briefing.

But the area to be sown with spring grains may shrink due to the government's slowness in providing subsidies to grain growers, who also have problems in repaying bank loans and obtaining new ones, he said.

The overall grain crop estimate includes the output of recently annexed Crimea, which normally produces between 1.5 and 2 million tons of grain. Zlochevsky said he expected a lower crop on the peninsula this year, but did not provide a precise figure.

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