Today in Russian Business – Aug 16, 2010

An extension of the grain export ban, currently due to last until December 31, will not be decided until October, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who also announced that thus far, over $450 million (just under half of the allocated funds) has been paid out to regions affected by drought.  The price of wheat in US futures contracts has risen again on the back of Russia’s ban.  According to an analyst at the US Grains Council: ‘While the price of grain in Russia is high, it is expected to go higher, so no one is selling.  This leaves many Russian animal farmers in a panic and fearful.‘ Russia’s ban on US poultry has now been lifted for over three quarters of the blocked plants, but the USDA is not satisfied.  Russia’s banks are upping sales of international bonds in response to reduced relative corporate borrowing costs, says Bloomberg.  Offshore firms Fenguard and Forman Commercial have bought large minority stakes in potash producer Silvinit.  The Moscow Times reports on the race to win contracts for the design of the Skolkovo business center.