In the tractor and agrarian equipmentmanufacture, the reduction of manufacture of most products continued. At thesame time, the manufacture of the machines designed to fertilize the soil withthe mineral fertilizers grew by 27% compared with 1997; this may be explainedby the feeble tendency to the growth of use of the mineral fertilizers. Themanufacture of the small-size equipment, e.g., cultivators, has been growing aswell: this evidences the certain growth of the purchasing capacity of theagrarian producers.
Dynamic of volume of manufacture of means ofproduction for agrarian economy
1998 as % of 1997
Mineral fertilizers, thousandMT
Tractor and agrarian equipmentmanufacture
equipment for applying mineralfertilizers
Source: Russian State Committee onstatistics (Goskomstat).
In 1998, the inflow of investments in thefood industry continued: during the first half of the year, the investments inthis sector grew by 45% having exceeded this index over all the other sectorsof economy. Most likely, the greater share of the investments was directed tothe secondary processing which is less dependent upon the agriculturalfeedstock.
The financial and economic crisis entailedthe reduction of the import supplies and sharp growth of the Ruble prices onthe imported products. This situation favored the import substitution tendencyin the food industry. Table 2.15 shows by month the rates of change inproduction of the main foods. It is easy to see that, in whole, these form thetwo groups: the ones whose production grew after August and the ones whoseproduction began reducing even more rapidly. The second group of the productsincludes the sugar, meat, and sausages. These are the ones whose productionused the imported feedstock. After the devaluation of the Ruble, the feedstockimport became problematic and the purchasing capacity of the population droppedfor these very groups (especially for the meat products).
Rates of growth of production of main foodsin 1998 (monthly and yearly indexes as % of the relevant period of1997)
bread and bakery
whole milk products
cow and sheep milk cheese
Source: Data of the Russian State Committeeon statistics (Goskomstat) for the relevant period.
The recession in the bakery production wasnot stopped but slowed down. This may serve the indirect index characterizingthe dynamic of the incomes of the population: at the other equal conditions,the decrease of the real incomes of the population is accompanied by the growthof consumption of the bread. Since August, the recession in the whole groupslowed down; the most probable is that the production of bread was growing onthe background of cutback of the bakery production.
Such groups as the macaroni, margarineproducts, whole milk products, cheese, and cereals directly illustrate theimport substitution trend after the beginning of the crisis. The share of theimported products in this group had been high enough, and the devaluation ofthe Ruble improved the domestic competitiveness of the domesticproducers.
The vegetable oil production dynamic has amore complex nature; the sharp growth of production in August and September mayhave been due to the rush demand. The further evolution of the industry willdepend on the efficiency of the policy of the sunflower seeds export limitationintroduced at the beginning of this year.
General characteristic of situation in theRussian agrarian markets in 1998
In 1998, the evolution of the agrarian andfood market was influenced by both the remaining in the country macroeconomicinstability and the absence of the clear conception of the governmentalregulation of the agrarian and food complex.
The process of formation of thenon-traditional for the planned economy market structures and sales channels,dynamical at the beginning of the 1990's, slowed down sharply during the lasttwo years. Under the effect of the macroeconomic instability, the importance ofthe non-money forms of settlement, direct supplies, and shade turnover grewstrongly. This was, to a great extent, favored by the federal and regionalpolicy of the commodity crediting and the remaining effective practice offormation of the regional food funds.
The underdevelopment of the food marketsinfrastructure stimulated the process of formation of the vertically integratedlinks in the food supply chains, first of all, between the feedstock producersand processors. In particular, the shortage of the feedstock formed in the meatand milk sub-complexes conditioned the wish of certain enterprises of theprocessing branches to organize their own feedstock production bases and tomake the long-term contracts with the agrarian producers. An example is theCherkizovsky APK havinginvested in two state farms and a poultry farm in the Moscow region. At thesame time, there are numerous examples of the artificial amalgamation of theenterprises of different levels of the food chains; these have gotten, in thelast years, the name "financial-industrial groups. Such associations are oftencreated under the aegis of the regional administrations and are the attempts torestore to life, at the regional or micro levels, the centralized managementand control system.
In 1998, the reduction of the share of theproduce supplies to the traditional purveyors became even more obvious. Theespecially critical drop of the supplies to the purveyors is observed at themarkets of national importance (grain) or of the export oriented (sunflower)produce (see Table 2.16).
Specific share of supplies to purveyors inaggregate volume of sale by agrarian producers, %
Livestock and poultry(weight before slaughter)
* 11 months Source: Sale of agrarian produce by agrarianenterprises Russian State Committee on statistics(Goskomstat), 1992-1997 and as of 1 December 1998.
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