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Russian grain export ban or not?

Updated: 08/04/2010 @ 8:18am

DJ Glencore Distances Itself From Staff Comments On Russian Grain

DJ - 1 hr 31 mins ago

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Swiss commodities merchant Glencore International SA Wednesday distanced itself from comments made by members of its Moscow staff that called for the Russian government to ban the export of grains.

The staff, who work for Glencore's Russian unit, International, made unauthorized comments to the media asking the government to ban grains exports and allow suppliers to renege on contracts as supplies decline during a severe drought.

"The views expressed by an employee of one of our field offices with regard to the Russian grain market were his own and do not in any way reflect the views of Glencore," a spokesperson for the company said.

Although the Russian government has ruled out banning the export of grains, this may yet happen given rising demand from consumers who fear a severe reduction in the current Russian crop.

Estimates for the size of Russia's 2010 wheat crop have plunged in recent days as the worst drought to hit Russia in 130 years has caused wildfires to ravage the region. Tuesday, Russia's Agriculture Ministry trimmed its forecast for total grain production to between 70 million and 75 million metric tons, reducing its Monday estimate of between 72 million and 78 million tons.

-By Andrea Hotter, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9413; andrea.hotter@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2010 07:41 ET (11:41 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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