After the worst drought in at least half a century parched the nation’s crops, some of Russia’s top corn consumers are planning to import the grain from countries including the United States, says the U.S. Grains Council.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “While the price of grain in Russia is high, it is expected to go higher, so no one is selling,” Alex Kholopov, a consultant at the council, said on the Grains Council Web site. “This leaves many Russian (livestock producers) in a panic and fearful.”

Corn has jumped 24 percent in Chicago since June 29 on speculation demand will increase from China and as wheat soared because of the Russian drought. World stockpiles of coarse grains, including corn, sorghum, barley, oats and rye, will drop 8.4 percent before next year’s harvest to the lowest level since 2008, according to the USDA.

Russia will probably double corn imports to 300,000 metric tons in 2010-2011 from 150,000 tons the previous year, while exports may slump to 25,000 tons from 400,000 tons, according USDA estimates.

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Source: Businessweek