26 Mar 2019 16:41

Agricultural Ministry sets task of retaining Russian leadership for wheat exports - deputy minister

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) - The Agriculture Ministry has set the task of retaining Russia's position as the leading wheat exporter and strengthening this position in the future.

"We're the leader in the export of wheat. Our task is to hold on to this leadership and strengthen this position further," Deputy Minister of Agriculture Oxana Lut said at a round table called "Quality in Agricultural Business" in Moscow.

The quality of Russian wheat has been firmly established and "is already a brand," she said.

The Agriculture Ministry forecasts grain exports of 42 million tonnes, including 36-37 million tonnes of wheat, this agricultural year (July 2018-June 2019). Last agricultural year, exports totaled 52.4 million tonnes, including 40.4 million tonnes of wheat.

Lut also called Russian fish, which is exported and well-known abroad, a brand, and said that the country has plans for fat-and-oil exports. "We have big plans to promote these products: bringing exports up to almost $9 billion by 2024. It will be hard to reach that number, but we can do it," she said.

There are also products, including so-called niche products, that are hard to promote in foreign markets, and they will need a unified brand, Lut said. "The Russian Export Center is now working on such a brand. It's a good idea for smaller companies."