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    30% of Russia's winter crops lost to low temperatures - minister

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    MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has lost 30% of its winter crops to unusually low temperatures, the agriculture minister said Thursday.

    "We estimate that about 30% of the winter crops are dead as of today," Alexei Gordeyev said, adding that the nation was in for a poor harvest.

    The minister said fruit trees, including apples, pears, peaches, apricots and grapes, were among the hardest hit by the freeze that has enveloped the country, with the temperatures struggling to rise above -20° Celsius (-4° Fahrenheit) in Moscow for example, and that particular attention would have to be given to the restoration of perennial plants.

    Gordeyev also said that cereal prices were expected to rise this year due to both external factors and the situation on the domestic market.

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