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In the near future, grain will remain the main export product of the agro-industrial complex, despite the imposed restrictions in the form of quotas and duties. But it is possible to increase food export due to processed products: instead of sunflower – oil, instead of fish – canned fish, etc., says Dmitry Bulatov, president of the National Union of Food Exporters.

Recall that at the SPIEF, Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev said that the plan for the export of agricultural products by 2030 will be increased from 45 to 47 billion dollars, already taking into account the existing restrictions on the export of certain products (grain, oilseeds, cereals). According to him, in the outgoing season about 48 million tons of grain will be supplied to foreign markets, of which about 37 million tons of wheat. Thus, Russia will retain its leading position in the world grain market.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sergei Levin, over the past six years, the export of agricultural products has almost doubled – by more than $ 14 billion. Last year, despite the pandemic, Russian food exports reached a record $ 30.5 billion, exceeding imports for the first time. To develop the agro-industrial complex, it is necessary to increase exports, expand channels and sales volumes. According to Levin, this will allow attracting additional investments, strengthening the food security of the country and at the same time increasing the availability of food in the domestic market.

According to Rosselkhozbank forecasts, in the new agricultural season, Russia’s share in the world market of fat and oil crops will be 26%, and in the wheat market – 11%. The Deputy Minister sees the greatest potential for growth in agricultural exports in food supplies to China, India, the countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. We can talk about the supply of grain, vegetable oils, fish and seafood, meat and dairy products, confectionery.

Bulatov recalls that Russia has already set the goal of increasing exports to $ 45 billion by 2024. However, last year the deadlines were shifted by six years. Therefore, it is difficult to guarantee the fulfillment of new promises. According to him, now 40% of Russian exports are grain crops, another 40% – ready-made food (butter, confectionery and sausages, etc.), another 20% – fish. And if there are doubts about increasing grain exports (due to the introduction of restrictive measures), it is better to focus on increasing exports of finished products. There are no restrictions on its export, it is more expensive, and, therefore, due to such products, it is possible to increase exports in monetary terms and leave the added value inside the country.

But for this it is necessary to change the system of state support, shifting it from the support of farmers (that is, the production of raw materials) to the support of processing enterprises (finished products), Bulatov believes.

“Now on the world market, food prices are higher than on the domestic one. If we do not take measures, all agricultural raw materials will go to the external market. And if we give subsidies to our food industry so that grain producers can sell their products to domestic flour mills, which could buy grain from It is another matter at a price close to the world price. If the government gives a subsidy to the processors, it is quite possible that then this export flow by itself will “wrap” inward, – explains Bulatov. Now about 3.5 billion dollars a year are allocated to support the export of agricultural products. It would be nice to focus part of these funds on “stabilizing the export potential,” the expert says.

At the same time, in his opinion, it is better for us to focus on rapidly growing markets – Southeast Asia, the countries of the Near and Middle East. “The standard of living in these countries is growing. And practice shows that when their incomes increase in such countries with rather modest incomes of the population, the population prefers to spend their income on food. Therefore, the demand for imported food will grow,” Bulatov explains.

A source: Russian newspaper

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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