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Soviet Union Makes Second Large Grain Buy in 2 Days

United Press International

The Soviet Union, in its second large purchase in two days, is buying 800,000 metric tons of corn, the Agriculture Department announced Friday.

The purchases were made against the backdrop of reports that the two countries are nearing a new long-term agreement governing grain trade. The current five-year agreement expires at the end of this month.

Terms of the sale call for the corn to be delivered this marketing year.

With the new sale, the Soviets have purchased 6.07 million tons of U.S. corn in the final year of the grain agreement. They also have purchased 9 million tons of wheat, 1.3 million tons of soybean meal and 830,700 tons of soybeans.

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On Thursday, exporters reported the sale of 100,000 tons of corn to the Kremlin. That was the first large sale since mid-July.

Last month, the Agriculture Department lowered its estimate of the size of this year’s Soviet grain crop by 5 million tons, to 210 million tons, due to a smaller-than-expected crop area and deteriorating conditions for spring-planted crops.

However, it repeated its estimate that the Soviets would import 25 million tons of grain during the 1988-89 marketing year because of high loss to drought. If correct, it would be the smallest import figure in a decade.

In the 1987-88 marketing year, the Kremlin bought about 32 million tons.

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