FORECAST FOR RUSSIAThe Russian Ministry of Economics and Finance projects Russian grain output to increase 10 percent this year, but forecasts livestock production will fall by the same amount due to a serious feed shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Moscow said.

In his March report released Thursday, the attache said the ministry forecast 1992 Russian grain production at 98 million metric tons. Other crops were also forecast higher, including potatoes, up 6 percent at 36 million metric tons; vegetables, up 2 percent at 10.7 million, and sunflowers, up 10 percent at 3.2 million, the attache said.

But cattle and poultry production were forecast to fall 10 percent, to 12.8 million metric tons live weight. The ministry forecast milk and egg output to fall by the same amount to 47 million metric tons and 42 billion pieces, respectively, he said.



CHICAGO - An options contract on MidAmerica Commodity Exchange rough rice futures will be launched April 10, the exchange announced.

Rice futures were first traded at the New Orleans Cotton and Rice Exchange before moving to Chicago for listing at the Chicago Rice and Cotton Exchange. The MidAm absorbed that entity in November 1991.

Rice is traded in a corner of the grain options pit on the Chicago Board of Trade agricultural floor. Daily volume usually runs from 50 to 250 lots.

For the new options contract, strike prices will be listed in multiples of 20 cents a hundredweight, with a minimum tick size of 1 cent a hundredweight, or $5 a contract.

Contract months will be January, March, May, July, September and November, and daily price limits will be 30 cents. Trading hours will be 9:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. CST, the same as rice futures.