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Bread, salt and oil: how Russia hits record wheat exports

Elena ARAKELYAN

Хлеб, соль да нефть: за счет чего Россия бьет рекорды по экспорту пшеницы

Bread quality have plummeted Photo: Victor HUSEYNOV

Is it true that we supply a first-class grain in over a hundred countries, and eat low-grade product?

Recently the USDA came as a shock to the Russians. He predicted that Russia in the coming year to take the leading position in the world in wheat exports, surpassing both the U.S. and Canada. But the pride for the country, this caused a lot of issues. Just in time purely internal “grain” of the scandal.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, the quality of the bread we have is falling rapidly. Not only that cheap varieties produced by accelerated technologies, and increasingly use low-grade flour – feed (destined for animal feed) grain improvers… How to understand?

We have asked experts of various departments a couple of naive questions.

Хлеб, соль да нефть: за счет чего Россия бьет рекорды по экспорту пшеницы

 

1. Where we have so much grain?

Specialists unlike ordinary citizens, accustomed that Russia is oil and gas, our success in the grain market of surprise does not cause. With such a vast territory, including extensive black soil regions, our country and needs to produce grains is not less than other countries – the leaders, except the States and Canada, includes the European Union, China and India.

According to the Russian grain Union, grain we sell in more than 130 countries (see chart), and wheat – more than 100. And note fans all compare with the achievements of the Russian Empire – the gross grain harvest we are now about two times higher than in 1913 (104,3 million tonnes in 2015 against 50,5 then).

2. We’re really ahead of the others?

There is a caveat. Contrary to the forecasts of the USDA, our farmers are planning this year the area under cultivation of wheat – the main export crops are reduced. The reason is not any disasters, while the export duty, which the government introduced for those wishing to sell the wheat, fearing that because of the fall of the ruble abroad will take out the whole crop.

In the Russian Ministry of agriculture eventually found a way around: instead of wheat began to expand the shock – that would be Nikita Khrushchev was glad of the corn. She’s also good is purchased abroad, but her duties there. Moreover, with a falling ruble to compete in any global market has become easier.

Хлеб, соль да нефть: за счет чего Россия бьет рекорды по экспорту пшеницы

 

3. And without wheat will not stay?

From the point of view of grain reserves while no such threat. As they say in the Russian grain Union, stocks increased compared with last year, since the harvest was good. Grain prices don’t grow… so If all is well, what horror stories will we tell about the bread, which save for already and the forage mix?

– The price of bread is a completely different thing, they do not relate to the grain market, – says the head of the Russian grain Union Arkady Zlochevskiy. – The contribution of grain in the cost price of a loaf of bread is too low, now below 20%.

Bakers will, in turn, complain that their costs last year increased by more than 22%. Where? And on each link in the chain for their own reasons. For example, the price of flour. They are 13 – 14 rubles per kilogram for the year increased to 16 – 18 roubles. Habomai explain: blame it on the increasing costs of energy and transportation. Not only that, the excise tax on gasoline is constantly growing, so more and other costs increase. For example, all vehicles that transport bakery products, the Ministry of transport was obliged to be fitted with tachographs (a device that tracks the movement of transport). Innovation cost to each of the bakeries that have a few dozen cars, from 1 to 3 million rubles. The prices for bread increased on average by 10% (even below inflation). Naturally, to keep the cost the same, some manufacturers just “tinkering” or to cut production. But wait for the shortage of bread is not worth it.

Хлеб, соль да нефть: за счет чего Россия бьет рекорды по экспорту пшеницы

 

TRICK QUESTION

Will “setnodelay”?

Despite all the success in grain export our revenues from exports of oil and wheat, alas, is incomparable – even with the sharp drop of raw material prices. According to the Federal customs service, in 2015 wheat and meslin (a mixture of grains from which brown bread) we sold abroad $3.9 billion And one only crude oil is at $89.6 billion

In other words, earn on this market big money will not work. But that is no reason to abandon it. Of all the major oil countries, as experts say, the current decline in prices for “black gold” have suffered in Norway, the economy and the structure of exports which are the most diverse. The US is also not on the grain of the main money earning, but in this market your place protect.

Therefore, Russia needs not only on the world grain market will be the place for stake out (which is also important), but inside the country the quality of the product to keep on the level. And it needs not only high duties to install, but also small problems of the industry to solve it. To set each time the Prosecutor’s office to the shops, overstates the prices, obviously not…

Хлеб, соль да нефть: за счет чего Россия бьет рекорды по экспорту пшеницы

 

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