In 2022, global food exports exceeded $2 trillion for the first time. Moreover, Russia has again become one of the main suppliers of agricultural products to the global market. Today, the country is among the top five grain sellers and is the leader in wheat shipments abroad. In total, over the past ten years, Moscow has increased the export of agricultural products by about 2.5 times. As explained in the government, back in 2014, after the introduction of the first Western sanctions, Russia began to rapidly raise its own agriculture. As a result, the country is now not only self-sufficient in a number of products, but also has the opportunity to increase supplies to other regions of the world. At the same time, China is the main buyer of Russian food today.
In 2022, global agricultural exports grew by 7.4% compared to 2021 and reached $2.02 trillion for the first time ever. At the same time, Russia again entered the list of leading food suppliers to the global market and took 17th place, as stated in the report of the Agroexport Center under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation published on Tuesday, June 27.
According to the agency, last year Moscow increased sales of agro-industrial complex goods by 12% at once, to $41.6 billion. 18%.
“The difficult geopolitical situation in the world has led to the transformation of exports of agricultural products. Russian companies have adapted to the new reality - they have rebuilt logistics routes and financial settlements with counterparties. The state, for its part, adjusted the conditions for providing state support and directed its efforts towards maximum assistance to business,” commented Sergey Levin, Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
According to him, Russian business continues to increase its presence in the global agricultural market and ensures uninterrupted supply. Thus, enterprises make a significant contribution to solving the problems of global food security, the deputy head of the ministry added. A similar idea was previously expressed by President Vladimir Putin.
“For ten years now, Russia has consistently been in the top five grain exporters. Since 2016, it has been the world's largest supplier of wheat - number one in world markets. There is reason to believe that this year our companies will take another step forward: they will rewrite and update the record for the export of this crop. At the same time, Russia will actively participate in ensuring global food security and provide assistance to countries, including African ones, that are experiencing food shortages,” Putin stressed.
According to Agroexport analysts, last year China became the main buyer of Russian food products. In total, from January to December, Moscow increased the supply of agricultural products to China by 36% in quantitative terms and by 44% in monetary terms. In particular, Beijing has been a leading importer of soybeans, rapeseed and linseed oils, poultry, beef, oats, flax seeds and honey. In addition, shipments of seafood to the Asian republic have also increased markedly.
“The growth of exports to China is due to several factors. First, it is the growing interest on the part of the PRC in products manufactured by Russian companies. The second is the removal of covid restrictions, the third is the redirection of the released volumes of exports in connection with the imposition of sanctions by unfriendly countries, ”the Federal Agency for Fishery explained.
In addition to China, the main importers of Russian agricultural products today include other Asian states, as well as the countries of the Middle East and Egypt. At the same time, even under the current sanctions, Europe also buys part of the food from Moscow, as Georgy Ostapkovich, director of the Center for Market Research at the Institute for Statistical Research and the Economics of Knowledge at the Higher School of Economics, told RT.
“Exports increased last year, including due to rising prices. Inflation was growing everywhere in the world, products became more expensive, and suppliers took advantage of this. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that our products are sold at fairly affordable prices. Plus, we have a well-developed logistics of deliveries, and the goods meet all environmental safety standards. These factors make Russian products attractive,” Ostapkovich said.
On full self-sufficiency
It should be noted that at the end of 2022, the share of the Russian Federation in the global agro-industrial complex increased to 2.1%. Moreover, among the top 20 largest suppliers, Russia showed the largest increase in food exports over the past ten years - 2.5 times.
One of the reasons for such a rapid increase in indicators was Moscow's response to the first Western sanctions back in 2014. The Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov spoke about this in an interview with RT.
“We (after 2014. - RT ) dramatically raised our agriculture. We now have no problems in this industry, we are fully self-sufficient, although earlier we had to import food from the same Europe, ”said the head of the Ministry of Finance.
According to government estimates, today Russia covers 178% of domestic demand for grain, while to achieve food security, the figure should be at least 90%. In addition, the country is self-sufficient in vegetable oil (211 instead of 90%), fish (153 instead of 85%), sugar (103 instead of 90%) and meat (100 instead of 85%).
“There was no such grain harvest as last year in Soviet times. 157 million tons is a huge success for our agricultural industry. There are also new records for the volume of oilseeds. An increase is visible in meat, potatoes, greenhouse vegetables, fruits," Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin noted earlier.
According to him, last year the authorities returned about 450 thousand hectares of land to agricultural circulation and built 25 fish processing plants, and the total amount of financing for the agro-industrial complex exceeded 420 billion rubles. All this, as the head of the Cabinet emphasized, made it possible to protect the Russian food market from new Western sanctions in 2022.
“We saw that most of all people were worried that products would disappear from the shelves. Many still remember how it was more than 30 years ago. But our farmers did not disappoint. Growth dynamics - over 10%. The level of food security in Russia is one of the most reliable in the world,” Mishustin added.