Russian farmers exploring new export markets

This year, Russia supplied agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs to 161 countries, which is more than a year earlier. The head of the center Dmitry Krasnov said this at the conference "Russian agroexport 2021-2022: trends, challenges and new opportunities", organized by the Agroexport center subordinate to the Ministry of Agriculture. Export is directly related to the development and improvement of the domestic market, stimulation of investments in the agricultural sector for the production of competitive products, he stressed.

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EU is the main importer of Russian agricultural products

Despite the fact that the year was not easy, Russian agricultural exports continued to develop: the export of frozen beef, food fish to Indonesia, poultry and offal to Vietnam increased. “We worked hard to open new sales markets together with the Rosselkhoznadzor and the Ministry of Agriculture,” Krasnov stressed. So, this year the markets of Singapore were opened for the supply of milk and dairy products, China - for the export of beef offal, Egypt - for the sale of dairy products.

At the same time, the key directions of supplies have changed. Thus, the European Union has become the main importer of Russian agricultural products, moving China to third place. In January-August 2021 Russia exported 4.2 million tons of agricultural products to the European Union, which is 2.9% more than the same period in 2020. In value terms, supplies increased by 32% to $ 2.4 billion. Among the leading categories of goods shipped to the EU are fish products, meal and cake, grain crops.

For 8 months of 2020, the supply of meal in physical volume remained approximately at the level of 2020 - 1.2 million tons, but in money terms increased by 50% to 420 million dollars. Also, 9.6 thousand tons of crustaceans were exported to the block countries (+ 58% ) worth $ 263 million (2.3 times more), 47 thousand tons of fish fillets (+ 47%) in the amount of $ 238 million (+ 39%), 74 thousand tons of frozen fish (-6.9% ) by $ 224 million (-11%). In addition, the top 5 categories of goods include wheat, of which the countries of the bloc purchased 737 thousand tons (+ 93%) for $ 189 million (2.4 times more).

The European Union is a significant buyer of Russian fish and seafood - firstly, because of the proximity to the Russian borders, and secondly, the high level of income of the population allows consumers to purchase high quality fish products. The main products that EU countries buy from Russia are white fish such as cod or haddock. Also, the countries of the European Union, mainly the Netherlands, import fish for processing, which is then distributed both in the European market and beyond.

The Netherlands is the leading buyer of Russian agricultural products among the EU member states. In the first 8 months of this year, Russian agricultural exports to the Kingdom increased in annual terms by 30% to $ 650 million. More than 80% of this volume fell on fish and seafood, 7% - oilseed cake, 2% - confectionery.

In second place is Latvia, which increased purchases of agricultural products in Russia by 48% to $ 371 million, largely due to an increase in grain imports. So, in January-August, Russia exported to Latvia 420 thousand tons of wheat (6 times more than the same period in 2020) worth $ 102 million (7 times more), corn - 107 thousand tons (4 times more) in the amount of $ 24 million (6 times more). Latvia is one of the largest buyers of Russian sunflower meal (2nd place after Turkey) and is the largest importer of Russian beet pulp. Since the beginning of the year, 317 thousand tons of sunflower meal (-28%) for the amount of 85 million dollars (+ 9.6%) and 195 thousand tons of bagasse (-25%) for 37 million dollars (+8 , 6%).

Also, Germany ($ 254 million, + 22%) is in the top 3 European countries-importers of Russian agricultural products. A third of this volume fell on fish and seafood, 14% - cake, 6% - confectionery.

Grain, fat and oil products exports decreased

Grain exports this year decreased slightly compared to last, but this was expected. At the same time, Russia managed to activate supplies to Algeria, increase its presence in the markets of Pakistan, Iran and Syria, but shipments to Southeast Asia decreased. The volumes of export of fat and oil products to China and India also decreased. The fishing industry this year sharply reduced exports to China, reorienting supplies to South Korea, therefore, despite the reduction in the export of fish products in tons, in monetary terms, the volume of exports this year increased relative to the same period in 2020.

Overall poultry shipments increased

Poultry exports to China have declined, but overall shipments have increased. According to the general director of the National Union of Poultry Breeders Sergei Lakhtyukhov, by the end of 2020, more than 80% of all poultry exports came to China and Ukraine. For 10 months of this year, the share of China and Ukraine decreased by 11% and 5%, respectively, while shipments to non-CIS countries did not decrease, since the supplies were redirected to the countries of the Persian Gulf and Africa. The dynamics of pork exports was also positive. But the export of beef to all countries has increased. Beef supplies to China have grown more than 2.5 times. Sales of dairy products to foreign markets also increased, primarily, a significant increase was due to dry dairy products.

Stable growth of confectionery products exports

Exports of confectionery products have been showing stable growth for several years, and this year was no exception. Agroexport expects that supplies of this category to the countries of the Persian Gulf will expand significantly in the future. According to the results of eight months of 2021, Russia entered the top 10 chocolate exporting countries in terms of revenue, ahead of Switzerland, the Ascond Association of Confectionery Industry said. As of September, the supply of chocolate products amounted to $ 838 million - $ 19 million more than Switzerland.

Role of state support

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sergei Levin recalled that the development of exports would have been impossible without state support, especially in the face of growing production costs due to increased costs for fertilizers, feed and fuel. “The existing system of state support covers business needs from the stage of investing in new production to the selection of promising sales markets, homologation and certification of products. This year, new support measures were added to the line of support measures: preferential leasing of high-tech equipment, a fuel subsidy for vessels fishing in remote fishing areas, and the circle of recipients of support in previously existing areas was expanded, ”the official said.

Regions increased their exports

This year, compared to the same period in 2020, several regions have significantly increased their exports. Among them - the Belgorod region, the increase in exports of which amounted to 114%, the Kaliningrad region, which showed an increase in supplies to foreign markets by 36%, as well as the Moscow region. This year, 87 export-oriented projects were launched in 36 regions, which provides a solid basis for further increasing supplies to foreign markets.

LAN-Team Moscow

Source: Agroinvestor, Agroexport