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Sharp drop in domestic output of sunflowerseeds given steady demand for them and smaller world production triggeredgrowth of domestic purchase prices. According to the EFKO company data theycontinued to rise in September-November, i.e. during the period of harvestingand supply of the new crop to the market. By the end of November they amountedto 8 thousand rubles (US$ 263) per ton, by the end of the year - to 9 thousandrubles (US$ 300) per ton (the level corresponding to the world prices). Highdomestic prices will entail cut in export sales that won’t exceed 50 thousand tons. Thebulk of produced sunflower seeds will be processed inside thecountry.

Figure 37

Prices for wheat #3 during the period of grain purchaseinterventions (November 14-21, 2001), rubles per ton

Source: Grain Union’s Herald, 2001, No. 20, 22,23.

Figure 38

World and domestic prices for sunflowerseeds, US dollars per ton

Source: EFKOhtpp://analitic.efko.ru/fact.php3art=14&sec=1&ord=-1&old=-1

An additional factor supporting domesticprices for sunflower seeds was the growth of prices for sunflower oil both onthe Russian and the world markets. In November 2001 sunflower oil was sold onthe domestic market at US$ 690 per ton while the world price for it ranged fromUS$ 550 (Ukraine) to US$ 615 (Europe).

Foreigntrade15

The process of agrifood import substitutionis fading. Growth in the Russian agrifood sector continues along withrestoration of agricultural and food products’ import. In January-September2001 its value was 25.9% above the corresponding 2000 level due primarily tolarger volumes of import supplies. Growth of agrifood export was slower - only10.4% to be attributed to the increase of both volumes and prices.

In 2000 the negative balance of agrifoodforeign trade was record low for the recent 10-year period: -5.7 billiondollars. However, if the growth of import supplies continues one can hardlyexpect this trend to persist in 2001 (Figure 39).

Figure 39

Russia’s agrifood exports and imports in1994-2001

Source: Customs statistics of RF foreigntrade.

Russia remains large net importer of rawmeat. In 2001 meat imports were rapidly restoring after the lifting ofrestrictions thereon connected with the unfavourable veterinary situation insome countries in 2000 (Table 33). Volumes of fresh and frozen meat imported inJanuary-September exceeded the 2000 annual total. At the same time imports ofprocessed meat products decreased. Probably, Russia will manage to retain itscompetitive advantages in this segment of the market.

Imports of poultry in January-November 2001were record high - 1241.3 thousand tons (up 8% as compared to the previousreform period record in 1997).

Table 33

Imports of basic agricultural and foodproducts in 1996-2001, thousand tons


1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Jan-Nov 2001

Beef

448,9

618,1

419,5

531,4

282,3

788,6*

Pork

303,9

308,9

282,0

444,4

212,9

Poultry

754,4

1146,6

814,5

236,0

687,2

1241,3

Butter

112,8

169,7

79,6

34,3

45,4

125,9

Sunflower oil

174,2

322,1

232,0

300,0

149,5

165,6

Wheat and meslin

2058,8

2143,0

1095,2

4547,1

2631,3

881,3

Wheat flour

720,4

386,9

216,1

124,2

126,8

..

Raw sugar

1696,1

2519,2

4060,2

5773,9

4546,6

5056,3

White sugar

1436,0

949,9

385,1

125,7

271,4

242,8

Citrus fruits

443,8

570,1

541,9

379,6

472,2

474,3

Coffee

25,1

27,8

4,9

9,1

20,3

19

Tea

118,5

158,2

150,2

161,1

158,3

140,1

* - all meat.

Source: Customs Statistics of RF foreigntrade, data of the RF State Committee for Statistics.

Other basic contributors to 2001 importgrowth were butter, cacao products and fish (Figure 40).

In recent years the situation on the worldmarket of coffee was characterized by low prices. In 2001 they continued todrop as output largely surpassed consumption. Some producers will probably failto sustain this natural selection and will withdraw from the market. However,these developments didn’t influence the dynamics of Russian coffee imports: in 2001 theywere up only 11.6%, although given the low world prices one could expect highergrowth rates.

The import of white sugar was constrainedby high customs duties, on the one hand, and by disadvantageousness ofpurchasing raw sugar under tariff quota - on the other. In 11 months 2001 sugarimports fell by 13.5% (Figure 40). However, there was no deficit of white sugaron the domestic market and even some stocks accumulated. Home-produced sugarsubstituted for the imported one.

Figure 40

Imports of basic food products inJanuary-November 2001 as % of January-November 2000

Source: RF State Committee forStatistics.

Relatively good crop and successfulharvesting in 2000/2001 marketing year laid the basis for expanding exports andreducing imports of grain. In January-November 2001 the latter was 62.1% belowthe corresponding 2000 level, while exports of wheat and meslin grew 2.6 fold.As a result the negative balance of trade in grains in the first 9 months ofthe year shrank by 88%. The expansion of export deliveries led to theoverloading of ports’and railroad capacities. Thus, supplies to foreign markets are constrained bythe poor development of transport and storage infrastructure. Good grains cropin the recent years helped to build domestic stocks of flour and to expand itsexport by 23.3% as compared to 9 months 2000.

Markets of the EU countries became moreattractive for Russian grain exporters after the decision to lift a specialimport tariff on grain originating from Eastern Europe and delivered byrailroad or through Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Sea ports came into effect.Beginning from November 2001 the corresponding import duty on wheat was reducedfrom 10.39 EUR per ton to 0.39 EUR per ton, that on barley and rye - from 20.37EUR per ton to 10.37 EUR per ton.

Table 34

Exports of basic agricultural and foodproducts in 1996-2001, thousand tons


1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

9 months 2001 as % of 9 months 2000

Frozen fish

89,3

186,7

301,3

229,6

290,6

120,4

Wheat and meslin

359,9

543,3

1523,7

650,8

419,0

278,8

Barley

195,2

1300,0

346,9

99,7

539,4

239,9

Sunflower oil

42,7

25,8

34,5

30,8

194,8

60,8

Sunflower seeds

1779,0

1049,2

1107,2

312,1

1114,9

39,3

Vodka, decalitres 100% alcohol

29525,2

1327,5

475,7

683,3

563,7

134,5

Source: Own calculations based on CustomsStatistics of RF foreign trade.

In the first half of 2001 Russia remained anet exporter of sunflower seeds. Still, their exports notably fell (by 60.7%)and exceeded imports 61.4 fold as compared to 96.8 fold in the previous year(Table 34). This drop is due to the seasonal shortening of stocks andrelatively small sunflower output in 2000.

Given the above mentioned unfavourableratio of domestic and world prices for sunflower oil, its import became morecompetitive as compared to home production and grew by 22.7% (Figure 40).Besides, its structure changed as a result of larger purchases of lessexpensive palm and soybean oils that increased by 72.7% and 64.5% respectively.Exports of sunflower oil, on the contrary, fell by 39.2% which is quite natural(Table 35). As a result, Russia lost its status of net exporter of this item.In 2001 imports were 25% larger than exports while in 2000 the latter exceededimports by 23%.

In January-November 2001 the majorcontributors to imports’ growth were non-CIS countries (Figure 41) that accounted for thebigger share of supplied meat and meat products, fish, citrus fruits and tea.The CIS countries’sales to Russia largely consist of butter, vegetable oils, grain, cacaoproducts, alcohol and alcohol-free beverages.

Figure 41

Geographic structure of some fooditems’ imports inJanuary-November 2001, %

Source: RF State Committee forStatistics.

Agriculture’sfinancial performance and budget support to the agrifood sector

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