Traditionally, grains are among the main goods in most Russian consumers’ diet. Rice and buckwheat share the status of the most popular grain varieties in the domestic market. While buckwheat is produced in Russia in large volumes, providing both the domestic market and foreign countries, parboiled rice in the Russian market is largely represented by imported produce. Let us examine each of the segments in more detail.
In 2016, around 40,749 tonnes of buckwheat groats valued at $ 30.8 million were sold to foreign countries by the Russian Federation. During the first 11 months of 2017, buckwheat exports amounted to 53,191 tonnes valued at $ 28 million. In physical terms, exports increased by 30.2%, whereas in monetary terms they dropped by 9.1%.
In January–November 2017, Russia exported buckwheat by around 153 manufacturers. Half of exports fall on 8 domestic manufacturers. “Kurskzernoprom” LLC (Kursk region) is the leader among them, having the share of 11% in the total volume of exports. The whole product range of this company falls on first grade buckwheat groats. A slightly lower share of 10.8% in the total volume of exports is occupied by “Tselina (Virgin Soil)” JSC (Altay Krai). This company performs export supplies of third, first and extra grade buckwheat groats. The bulk of products supplied by the company – around 83% – fall on third grade buckwheat groats. Third place with the share of 5.3% belongs to “PK “Gerkules” LLC (Altay Krai), exporting first and second grade buckwheat groats; second grade grains form the bulk of exports by this manufacturer.
In January–November 2017, Russia was exporting buckwheat into 47 countries. The leading position among them was held by Uzbekistan with the share of 22% in the total volume of exports. Azerbaijan was second with the share of 17%, whereas Moldova was last among the three leaders, accounting for the share of 11%.
In 2017, imports of buckwheat groats dropped significantly compared with the previous year. In 2016, 6,906 tonnes of groats valued at $ 4.5 million were imported into Russia. During the first 11 months of 2017, imports amounted to 103 tonnes valued at $ 136 thousand. Thus, buckwheat imports plummeted by 98.5% in physical terms.
In January–November 2017, imported buckwheat groats in the Russian market were represented by goods from 10 countries. China was the undisputed leader among them, having accounted for the share of 82% in the total volume of supplies.
During the time period in question, imported buckwheat groats in the Russian market were represented by goods by 15 manufacturers. The leading manufacturer was the Chinese “Tpftz Aixin Foodstuffs Co.” Ltd with the share of 48.7% in the total volume of imports. 23.4% in the total volume of imports of buckwheat groats belonged to another Chinese company – “Chifeng Xin Lang De Grain Trade Co.” Ltd. Both companies supply roasted buckwheat groats to Russia. The last manufacturer among the three leaders is the Chinese company “Baicheng Lvjiayuan Agricultural Products Processing Co.” Ltd with the share of 9.7%. The Danish “Nakskov Mill Foods” A/S is fourth in the ranking of buckwheat groats producers – its share amounted to 3.8%. The product range of this manufacturer in the Russian market is represented by buckwheat flakes. The company is followed by the Italian “Pedon” S.p.a with the share of 3.1% in the total volume, buckwheat groats of which are supplied under the trademark “Dalla Buona Terra”. 3% belong to the Lithuanian “Uab Naujasis Nevezis”, supplying the Russian market with buckwheat flakes.
Buckwheat has always been in demand both in the domestic market and as a product intended for exports. In 2017, Russian agrarians relied on buckwheat, having substantially expanded cultivated areas used for it. As a result, the harvest exceeded the indicators of the previous year, and exports of buckwheat groats increased accordingly along with a decrease in prices for it.
Rice is another product popular among Russian consumers. The classic countries of its cultivation are China and India. In Russia, rice is grown in relatively small amounts in Krasnodar Krai and in the south of Primorsky Krai. Despite the fact that Russian producers have been increasing their rice output, imports of rice have been remaining at a rather high level.
In terms of processing methods, rice is divided into three categories: unpolished (brown) rice, polished rice and parboiled rice. Russian consumers are most accustomed to polished and parboiled rice. Whereas polished rice has virtually no nutrients remaining as a result of processing, steaming in parboiled rice preserves up to four fifths of nutrients that the shell contains by transferring them into the grain (in terms of vitamin and dietary fiber, parboiled rice almost matches brown rice). Let us examine Russian imports of parboiled rice in more detail.
In 2016, Russia imported 120.1 thousand tonnes of parboiled rice valued at $ 50.5 million. During the first 11 months of 2017, imports of parboiled rice into Russia amounted to around 107.5 thousand tonnes valued at $ 48.5 million. Imports of this product compared with the previous year declined by 10.5% in physical terms. In monetary terms, supplies decreased by 4%.
In January–November 2017, imported parboiled rice in the Russian market was represented by produce by companies from 11 countries. The share of Asian countries in parboiled rice imports amounts to 99.9% – the remaining 0.1% fall on four European countries.
The rice variety most popular in the Russian market is Indian parboiled rice, the share of which equals 49.6% in physical terms in the total volume of imports. Thai parboiled rice is in great demand as well – Thailand’s share in the total volume of imports amounted to 31.6%. The country is followed by Myanmar (9.9%), Vietnam (6.6%), and Pakistan (1.9%). The remaining 6 countries occupy less than 1% in the total volume of imports.
In January–November 2017, imported parboiled rice in the Russian market was represented by products of 91 manufacturers – the Indian company “Al-Gyas Exports Pvt” Ltd was the undisputed leader among them with the share of 26.8% in the total volume of imports. Second place with the share of 8.7% belongs to the Thai “Riceland International” Ltd. The last company among the three leaders is another Indian producer of parboiled rice – “Shah Nanji Nagsi Exports Ptv” Ltd, the share of which in the total volume of supplies amounted to 7.9%.
The leaders are followed by “Adipati Agricultural Produce Trading” Ltd from Myanmar, accounting for the share of 6.9%. Goods by this company are represented in the category of parboiled rice of the ‘Emata’ variety. The Thai “Sawatpaiboon Rice Mill Co.” Ltd and “K.V.C. Rice Intertrade Co.” Ltd occupy 4.6 and 4% respectively in the total volume of imports.
Imports of parboiled rice in the first 11 months of 2017 decreased against the indicators of the previous year. Rice produced in India and Thailand still remains the most demanded in the Russian market.
* Data by the Federal Customs Service of Russia, trade with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia, as well as Kyrgyzstan since 2015, not included.
Information-Analytical Company “VVS”