According to what the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain has published in its Foreign News Gazette, the total wheat exports of Russia to non-Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries has increased by 43%, reaching 33.7M tonnes in 2017-2018. According to the Market Studies Institute (IKAR), there is still room for the Russian wheat exports, that could reach 40M tonnes. According to the Department of Agriculture of the USA, Russia currently controls 22% of the world wheat market, the EU 14% and the USA 13%.
In the next years, Russia can increase its arable land, and the Ministry of Agriculture deems that at least 10M hectares could be recovered for cultivation.
Likewise, the Ministry has prepared new bills to simplify the procedures for the recovery of abandoned lands, has increased the taxes if they are not used, has increased the budget to finance the sector (USD4,320 million) and has faith in having more funds to allocate to rural development, short-term preferential loans and the modernisation of machinery and equipment.
According to the economics expert Mr Maxim Rubchenko, there is another favourable factor for Russia: climate change. According to recent studies by the University of Kansas, the temperatures in the Eurasian grain producing regions would increase by 1.8ºC in 2020 and by 3.9ºC in 2050. This would allow Russia, along with better technologies, to include 57M hectares more of arable land.
Thursday, May 10th, 2018/ Foreign News Gazette - MAPAMA/ Spain.