Latest news from the Russian agricultural sector (Nov 2011):

Government guarantees support for agricultural sector

Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, emphasized that the support packages for virtually all agricultural sectors will stay as they are. Talking at a video conference with regional branches of  the ‘United Russia’ party on 21 October, Putin stated that some RUB 170 billion have been earmarked for next year in the national budget.
In 2011, the federal budget provided 140 billion in agricultural support. Putin stated that another 30 billion has been added, taking the overall volume of support scheduled for next year up to 170 billion. ‘Support will be kept up for virtually all sectors – from subsidies for artificial fertilisers to subsidised credit and agricultural leasing products,’ said Putin. The same applies to financial assistance and subsidies for fuels and lubricants. Prime Minister Putin went on to say that last year 2.2 million tonnes of diesel and petrol had been reserved to ensure targets were met. This year the figure has risen to 2.5 million tonnes. In this context, Putin stressed that the agricultural sector had however only used 2.4 million tonnes of fuel and lubricants. He went on to say that, thanks to the ongoing low prices for fuel and lubricants, farmers had saved RUB 5.5 billion in 2010 while RUB 17 billion have already been saved this year.
Source: Interfax Selskoe khozyaystvo i prodovolstvie, No. 43 of 26 Oct 2011

More than RUB 100 billion in government assistance

As part of the government programme to fund agricultural sector development, Russian agricultural producers have received more than RUB 100 billion this year (status as at 21 October).
As the press office of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Agriculture stated, some RUB 76.4 billion were earmarked for the country’s farmers in the federal budget and RUB 25.8 billion in the regional budget. In all, the Ministry of Agriculture has transferred RUB 99.8 billion from federal funds to regional budgets. This figure corresponds to around 91.1 % of the annual spending limit. Harnessing funds from the state budget was discussed at a meeting convened by Russia’s Agriculture Minister, Elena Skrynnik, who noted that financial resources should be made available in the given regions in good time, in a targeted manner and across the board. ‘The federal budget resources should be used in full,’ said Ms Skrynnik.

Source: Interfax Selskoe khozyaystvo i prodovolstvie, No. 43 of 26 Oct. 2011

Government not yet planning any intervention buying

The government of the Russian Federation does not yet have any plans for grain intervention, although it is planning a new purchasing model involving grain deposits with a re-purchasing option said Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
‘We’re not planning to roll out any grain intervention measures, but we will put in place a deposit system with a re-purchasing option. We will pay money for grain deposits and if farmers find a way of selling the grain themselves and want to redeem their deposit, they can simply pay the money back,’ said Vladimir Putin in Stavropol at a meeting with farmers.
‘We’ll see what impact this measure has,’ said Putin, reminding those present that up till now the government had regulated prices on the domestic market exclusively through grain

Source: Interfax Selskoe khozyaystvo i prodovolstvie, No. 43 of 26 Oct. 2011

Russia against importing raw sugar in 2011 and 2012

This season’s huge sugar beet harvest means that, contrary to custom, Russia will most likely not be importing any raw sugar, announced Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. According to the trade organisation SojuzRosSakhar, Russia is facing a record harvest of some 40 million tonnes. In comparison with the previous year, production has thus gone up by 80 %. The government press office in Moscow stated that representatives of the sugar industry attending a meeting convened by Zubkov had given their assurance that domestic production was sufficient to meet factory needs.
SojuzRosSakha estimates that around 200,000 tonnes will even be exported to several Central Asian Republics, as well as to Italy and Montenegro.