Today in Russian Business – Aug 10, 2010

RIA Novosti reports that short-term losses due to wildfires could be as much as $15 billion (or 1% of this year’s GDP), and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin estimates that Russia’s grain harvest this year could be as much as 38% smaller than last year – around 60-65 million tons, at least 13 million tons less than domestic grain requirements.  The Independent writes on the drought’s potential effects on world markets.  Grain exports hit record highs last month, thanks to government tenders for Egypt, Tunisia, and Iraq.  Overall, growth this quarter could slow as other exports ‘remain stagnant‘.  Car sales jumped 48% last month, year-on-year, which the Moscow Times takes as evidence that the ‘cash-for-clunkers‘ scheme is proving a success.  Of the 390,000 unscheduled checks performed on small businesses last year, just 2.3% were approved, and as many as half of them may have been illegal, says the Economic Development Ministry.