World Grain - February 2021 - 18

COUNTRY FOCUS

FOCUS ON

RUSSIA
Country has become a force in
grain exports, particularly wheat
by Chris Lyddon

Russia has become the world's leading wheat exporter, but the
country has moved to limit the amount shipped abroad in an effort to dampen prices on its home market. The country's production remains subject to the variations in its harsh winters.
In a Grain Market Report published on Jan. 14, the International Grains Council (IGC) put total Russian grains production in 2020-21 at 125.6 million tonnes, up on its previous
estimate of 125.1 million, published on Nov. 26, 2020. It put
the previous year's crop at 114.7 million. Wheat production
in 2020-21 was put at 84.5 million tonnes, compared with the
previous estimate of 83.5 million and the 2019-20 crop of 73.6
million tonnes.
For 2021-22, the IGC said that " owing to elevated risks of winterkill in southern Russia, all-wheat harvested area is predicted to
dip by 1% year-on-year. While recent temperatures have stayed
close to average in recent months, precipitation remained mostly light. "
It also noted that because of high local prices for wheat-based
products, Russia's government was reported to be aiming to double production of durum by 2025, including through
area gains and improved average yields.
The Economic Research Service
(ERS) of the US Department of Agriculture said in its Jan. 14 Wheat
Outlook report that Russia's
2020-21 wheat crop would be
a record high 85.3 million
tonnes, citing production data
from the Russian statistical
agency, ROSSTAT.
" Russia's wheat yields
are estimated at 2.98 tonnes
per hectare, an 11% increase
from the prior year's yield, "
the ERS said.
According to the IGC, the
Russian corn crop in 2020-21
is now forecast at 13.5 million
tonnes, down from the earlier esti18	

WG_Feb21.indb 18

KEY FACTS
Capital: Moscow
Population: 141,722,205 (July 2020 est.)
Religions: Russian Orthodox 15%-20%, Muslim
10%-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.) note:
estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia
has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of official atheism under Soviet rule; Russia officially recognizes Orthodox Christianity,
Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as its traditional
religions.
Location: North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean,
extending from Europe (the portion west of the
Urals) to the North Pacific Ocean.
Government: Semi-presidential federation.
Chief of state: President Vladimir Vladimirovich
Putin (since May 7, 2012); head of government:
Premier Mikhail Mishustin (since Jan. 16, 2020).
Economy: Russia has undergone significant
changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union,
moving from a centrally planned economy toward a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent
years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration
of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms
in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation,
banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the
state continues to interfere in the free operation
of the private sector. Russia is one of the world's
leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is
also a top exporter of metals such as steel and
primary aluminum. It is heavily dependent on the
movement of world commodity prices as reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable
to boom-and-bust cycles that follow the volatile
swings in global prices. The economy, which
had averaged 7% growth during the 1998-2008
period as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then. A combination
of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and
structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep
recession in 2015, with GDP falling by close to
2.8%. The downturn continued through 2016 but
was reversed in 2017 as world demand picked
up. Government support for import substitution
has increased to diversify the economy.
GDP per capita:  $12,842 (2019 est.); inflation:
4.4% (2019 est.); unemployment: 4.6% (2019 est.).
Currency: Russian rubles (RUB): 75.44 rubles
equal 1 US dollar (Jan. 25, 2021).
Exports: $551.128 billion (2019 est.): petroleum
and petroleum products, natural gas, metals,
wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide
variety of civilian and military manufactures.
Imports: $366.919 billion (2019 est.): machinery,
vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semifinished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts,
optical and medical instruments, iron, steel.
Agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.) of GDP and 9.4% of
the labor force.
Internet: Code: .ru; 114,920,477 users.
Source: CIA World Factbook

February 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com

2/12/2021 8:30:35 AM


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World Grain - February 2021

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World Grain - February 2021 - 1
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