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Russia reveals main source of profits after oil and gas

Food exports have become crucial for the country’s budget, customs data shows

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Russian food exports are growing at a rapid pace, becoming the country’s third largest source of budget income after oil and gas, the interim head of the Russian customs service, Ruslan Davydov, said in an interview with RIA Novosti published on Tuesday.

According to the official, the growth in exports of agricultural products in terms of weight is currently about 70% compared to the previous agricultural year.

Our agro-industrial complex exports are growing well. [President Vladimir Putin] spoke about this – we have practically exceeded export targets compared to last year. We mainly export grain now. This is the lion’s share. But there are also oilseeds, butter, vegetable oil, sunflower. These are probably our main export products,” Davydov stated.

He noted that the largest importers of Russian food products are China, the countries of the Middle East, Egypt, and Kazakhstan. These countries, he said, can already be called “traditional markets” for Russian food exports.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry reported that the country supplied 60 million tons of grain to foreign markets worth $41.6 billion in monetary terms in the 2022-23 agricultural year (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023).

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier announced that in 2022, the agricultural production index was at 110.2%, with nearly 158 million tons of crops harvested, a record in modern Russian history.

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Market experts note that Russia’s bumper grain harvests have strengthened the country’s position as the top global exporter and have helped ease price pressures caused by the conflict in Ukraine, as a result of which Ukrainian grain shipments have been blocked. They also point out that due to record high Russian exports, global wheat prices are currently at their lowest levels in nearly three years.

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