Exports of agricultural products in 2021 will continue to grow despite the duties
Previously, if such goods in one or more regions of the country became more expensive by 30% or more in a month, the government could set maximum retail prices for up to 90 days. The adopted document removes this restriction: now the government will be able to impose maximum retail prices for up to 90 days at any time. According to First Deputy speaker of the State Duma Alexander Zhukov, this will allow to respond quickly to the price situation.
The list of socially significant products will be compiled by the government. Now the list includes pork, lamb (except boneless meat), beef, broiler meat (except chicken legs), fish, sugar, butter and sunflower oil, eggs, milk, flour, salt, bread, tea, rice, buckwheat, vermicelli, millet, potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, apples. According to Rosstat, for the period since December 15 to December 21, 2020, consumer prices increased by 0.2%, since the beginning of December – by 0.6%, since the beginning of the year – by 4.7%. Most of all, sugar (by 67.5%), buckwheat (by almost 41%), potatoes (by 31%), sunflower oil (by 26.8%) rose in price over the year.
Earlier, Head of the Ministry of economic development Maxim Reshetnikov said that the mechanism for responding to rising prices of agricultural products should be established for a long time to ensure predictability and stability for producers and investors. As such a mechanism, the Ministry considered the introduction of export duties, which will be adjusted according to a previously known predictable schedule, depending on changes in world prices and exchange rates. From the beginning of 2021 to the end of June, export duties will apply to grain, sunflower, soy and rapeseed.
With the restriction of prices within Russia, it becomes more profitable for manufacturing companies to send their products to foreign markets, and the strengthening of foreign currency remains a positive factor for export sales, says Natalia Bakhova, Director of the Trade Finance Department of the Moscow Credit Bank (MCB). However, the state introduces restrictive measures in order to balance sales within Russia and abroad in the form of quotas (for grain) and duties. Together with other measures, this will help to restrain the growth in food prices, but by regulating the cost of products in this way, it is worth thinking about supporting the producers. ‘If this balance is observed, the measures taken by the state should not negatively affect the producers of raw materials,’ she said.
As for the export of agricultural products, unlike other sectors of the economy, its volumes continued to grow in 2020, Bakhova notes. As of December 20, Russian food was delivered abroad for $28.3 million, while for the entire 2019, the value volume of exports amounted to $25.6 million. ‘And this growth occurred despite the fact that for the main commodity supplied abroad – cereals (their share in the total agricultural export is more than 25%) – there was introduced a quota in 2020,’ she emphasizes. ‘A positive factor here is that the state supports the export of agricultural products through various subsidy programs, for example, 512P. Therefore, I believe that in 2021, even with the effect of export duties, the agricultural sector will continue to show positive export dynamics.’