Agricultural exports from Russia to several nations in North Africa, the Middle East and Gulf states could see an increase of products totaling more than $1 billion this year, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sergei Levin announced Wednesday during a briefing at commodity expo Eurasian Export in Dubai.
Russia has placed fifth among other countries in the world when it came to the capacity of agricultural exports to those areas, with an overall trade turnover equating to roughly $16.2 billion, Levin said during the briefing. “Russian agricultural production is competitive in terms of quality and price, and it also meets the preferences of the majority of the countries in the [Middle East and Africa] region. This year we are able to increase exports to the countries of the region by more than $1 billion,” Levin said in a statement.
Russia’s agriculture was diminishing after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 until it implemented a food embargo in the summer of 2014 against the EU. As a result, the country’s agricultural industry expanded within the last few years to the point where agricultural exports created more revenue for Russia than the sale of arms, according to Der Spiegel.
“In recent years, the share of agriculture in the Russian economy has increased, contrary to the global trend. In the past year, Russia for the first time earned from agricultural exports more than from the sale of arms,” the report stated.
Russia’s wheat export has specifically seen an increase in production, allowing the nation to surpass the U.S. and EU in its grain export. The country’s wheat beat the U.S. in goods for the world’s largest buyer, Egypt, and has continued to see growth in other nations.
“Russia will be among the top exporters for a long time, especially given the potential advances in productivity there. Other producers need to fight harder to maintain their traditional markets,” said Sydney-based commodity consultant Market Check’s general manager Tom Basnett.