To address sharply increased domestic prices, in December 2020, the Russian government introduced an export quota of 17.5m tons of grain for the period February 15 to June 30, 2021, which excludes supplies to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Those measures were also supplemented by export duties; such levies were expected to benefit livestock producers as it was believed the move would ensure ample feed availabilities in the domestic market.
“However, weaker demand exemplified by reported decreases in poultry inventories and slowing of the growth rate of pig production suggests ample supplies alone may not drive higher consumption,” said the USDA FAS.
Grain use in feed
According to Russian analysts, domestic grain consumption is not growing and the likelihood of its increase, as well as an expansion of meat production, is extremely low.
Despite export restrictions and the resulting ample supplies on the Russian domestic market, reduced economic prospects are projected to dampen wheat consumption in MY 2021/22. The USDA report expects feed and residual use of wheat to drop, due to both a smaller crop and an expected rebound in corn and barley use.
Feed demand is behind a barley consumption forecast level of 14.9m MT, while the USDA sees corn consumption in Russia rising to 11.2m MT in MY 2021/22; that figure is based on expected higher availabilities and a higher proportion of corn feed use relative to wheat.
Reluctance to expand feed production capacity
Russian feed investment is slowing, according to an article on World Grain.
Russian companies are becoming increasingly reluctant to invest in new feed production capacities due to unprecedented volatility in the domestic grain market.
The Russian feed industry grew with a 6.7% CAGR between 2007 and 2017, as per estimates from Russian state statistical service, Rosstat. Since 2017, Russia’s feed industry CAGR has been limited to 2.8% per year, reported the stats agency.
Oilseed cultivation boost
Difficult weather conditions at the end of MY 2020/21 affected the winter crop and reduced crop yield prospects. This is expected to result in the reseeding of large areas with other crops, primarily oilseeds, and an increase in spring-planted crops, finds the USDA publication.
MY 2020/21 brought about the second most abundant yield of grain and legumes in the Russian Federation, following the record year of 2017 when gross output of grain reached 135.5m tons, said the USDA.
According to Rosstat, 133m tons of grain were harvested in the Russian Federation in MY 2020/21 – 9.8% more than in 2019 – with a subsequent yield of 121.2m tons.
“In 2021 and beyond, intensified government regulation in the Russian Federation will be a significant factor for pricing and overall regulation of the agricultural sector.”