Spring grain planting is underway. Latest indications are that a surplus of grains in store and shortages of working capital, seed and fuel could reduce the aggregate area sown to grains to about 12 million hectares against 14.6 million hectares last year. Current indications are that winter grain plantings remained close to last years level of 700 000 hectares. Assuming clean weight yields of about 0.8 tonnes a hectare, the 1998 grain harvest could fall to about 10-11 million tonnes from 12.3 million tonnes in 1997. Even so, the country could export about 3 million tonnes of grain in the coming marketing year. Cereal exports in the first nine months of the current marketing year have totalled 3.3 million tonnes.