Today in Russian Business – Aug 4, 2010

The Agriculture Ministry has dropped grain production forecasts by more than 20% as forest fires and drought damage the cycles of various crops, but insists that there are enough resources ‘to keep everything smooth and steady‘.  Exports, however, are apparently ‘draining out‘, and grain companies are advising a total export ban in order for Russia to ensure it can cover domestic demand.  The Kremlin will not get involved in the shareholder dispute between Norilsk Nickel’s Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin because it is a ‘private company‘.  The dispute dates back to June of this year, when Deripaska accused Potanin ‘of colluding with the plant’s managers to manipulate a shareholder vote for members of the board‘.  On Severstal’s attempt to move into Africa’s gold and iron markets.  Imports of US poultry into Russia are suffering new delays over unspecified ‘further issues‘.  Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wants salaries to be tied to ‘the concrete results of innovative development‘ in state-controlled companies.  Pepsi, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are all reporting strong second-quarter results in Russia, paving the way for further investment.