Russian grain crop could be substantially larger than official estimates

Russia has harvested 41.8 million metric tons of grain to August 4 on 11.9 million hectares, or 25% of the total planted area the agriculture ministry reported Tuesday.

The agriculture ministry said it expected this year's grain harvest at 85 million tons in clean weight, three million tons more than in 2007.

Get the calculators out. They've got nearly half the anticipated output off 25% of the planted area. I'm getting deja vu here. Didn't we have a similar situation with Ukraine recently? Didn't the Ukraine crop keep getting bigger & bigger as they got through the harvest, showing initial projections to have been somewhat "cautious"? They wouldn't be trying to avoid a collapse in grain prices by telling the world exactly how much grain they have to sell would they? What, the Russians, lying? Naked in a girls dormitory at 3 am?