The Russian economy, long criticized for being too dependent on oil and gas exports, has shown signs of responding to planned diversification as Q1 Russian export trade figures are released. Commenting on these, Pavel Kadochnikov, President of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) has highlighted fast growth in the agricultural sector especially, and including items such as corn, soybeans, confectionery and chocolate.
“New export positions have recently emerged, such as corn.” said Kadochnikov. “We normally exported a value of USD100 million and now the it is USD860 million in the First Quarter. Soybeans and soy products export was USD15-17 million and became USD330 million in 2015 and USD530 million in 2016… We sold honey worth USD14 million in two years; confectionery and chocolate sales were USD40 million and USD60 million. These are sound export positions. They are growing and have sources and prospects”
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments “Part of the reason for this development is a result of Russia’s recent re-engaging with Asian markets in the wake of the damaging EU sanctions placed upon Russia. This is especially true of Russian export opportunities to China, a country with 20% of the global population but only 5% of global arable land. In contrast Russia has about 2% of the global population and 13% of globally available arable land. Put simply, China needs Russian agricultural exports. The Russia-China agricultural space is an obvious match and investment opportunity.”
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