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    Russia's grain exports could total 7-mln tons this year - expert

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    MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia could export 7 million metric tons of grain in the current agricultural year, the president of the Russian Grain Union said Thursday.

    The agricultural year will last from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007.

    "Estimates show we'll be able to export about 7 million metric tons of grain," Arkady Zlochevsky said.

    Zlochevsky said Russia would be able to hit this level if the gross harvest forecasts were accurate this year.

    Experts say the 2006 grain crop will total about 72-75 million metric tons, whereas the Agriculture Ministry expects the harvest of 73 million metric tons of grain.

    Zlochevsky said Russia also had last year's carryover reserves of 10.2 million metric tons.

    "This means we'll have export potential, if we comply with the grain crop plans," Zlochevsky said.

    Last year, grain exports totaled 14 million metric tons compared with 10-12 million metric tons projected by the Agriculture Ministry.

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