To feed the country nothing, import substitution failed

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Кормить страну нечем, импортозамещение провалено

“Golden era” of import substitution in Russia seems to have ended — on the shelves and display cases more imported products. In 2017 from abroad brought in four times more oil twice potatoes, onions, garlic… Is it so quickly forgotten how to grow yourself?

Farm build… And there is nothing

2018 began with a series of positive news related to import substitution. For example, in Dagestan (Kumtorkalinsky district) opened one of the country’s largest greenhouse complexes “Yugagrokholding”, in Mari El Republic (sernurskiy rayon) — large goat farm in Togliatti — pharmaceutical plant “Ozone farm”.

In the Leningrad region (Vyborg district) to SHP “Losevo” started the production of lactose-free milk in Novorossiysk started capacity expansion Shoe factory “Bris-Bosfor”, and in the Sakhalin region will start to build a floating plant for processing marine fish.

The official figures of Rosstat, too, must inspire optimism. So, at the end of 2017, 85% increase in the production of fruits, berries and nuts, 28% fish products (including fish filets), 4% – frozen fish.

However, this positive news ends. Amid the rising cost of oil (over the last six months the price of a futures contract for Brent crude jumped by almost half — from $ 48 to $ 69 per barrel) and growing revenue from export sales of raw materials. In proportion, according to estimates of the Federal customs service (FCS), and growing foreign purchases from the beginning of 2017 (data is available for eleven months) transport and electrical equipment was imported into Russia by almost 27% more in the number of trucks by 54%.

Imports of footwear increased by 14%, cotton fabrics — by 52%, plant protection products — by 11%. In words declared policy of import substitution in the food sector. But stubborn statistics show that the food in Russia also imported more.

The chamber is not counted potatoes

According to official statistics, for 11 months of 2017 increased imports of vegetable oil (four times), grapes, onions, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, milk. Contrary to the declarations, increasing purchases of meat (including poultry), fish, butter… milk Production remained at the level of 2015 — 30.7 million tonnes. The share of domestic products is only 80% at the minimum required, according to the Doctrine of food security, 90%.

According to the FCS, one-third more for 2017 purchased abroad corn (46 thousand tonnes), 14% more barley (169 thousand tons). We are importing even wheat — though in the past year and a half times less intense than it was in 2016 (purchased “only” 247 thousand tons).

But all of this — the basic commodity positions on which filling and was sent to the state policy in agriculture in recent years.

The situation with import substitution even caught the Accounts chamber of Russia. Most auditors, oddly enough, the alarming situation with potatoes: reduced acreage under this crop, not enough potatoes storage facilities are not developed infrastructure for logistics and refinement of the roots.

Accordingly, reduced gross yield: according to Rosstata, for 11 months of 2017, it amounted to 29.6 million tons, which is almost 5% less than it was a year earlier. In the Potato Union of Russia believe that the potatoes in the country, and so you produce more than you can eat citizens. And that would be true, if not one “but”. Synchronously with the reduction of yield increasing imports of potatoes (fresh and chilled): in the past year it has doubled, surpassing 550 thousand tons. While in 2016, on the contrary, “potato” imports steadily declined.

The ruble has risen — and with it the import

What time is experiencing today, the Russian import substitution in agriculture — light or dark? This question “Free press” asked our regular experts on economic issues — and their pessimism they do not hide.

Roman Alyokhin, founder of the marketing group “Alekhine and partners”:

— Most likely, to wait for any special successes and the significant increase in volumes in the field of import substitution in 2018 is not worth it!

Import growth has been associated not only with the sanctions and prohibitions, but with the fall of the ruble, which peaked just in time for 2014-2015. And now there is every reason to predict a stable exchange rate for 2018 (if there will be any sudden negative factors as, for example, the sharp fall in oil prices or a major geopolitical conflict).

The share of imports will rise in 2018, which will lead to negative trends in the field of import substitution of many goods will return, and consumers will prefer Western products. This is due to the fact that not in all spheres of the Russian producers were able to approach the price/quality offered by Western companies.

Now the poor quality of complain in the field of engineering and shipbuilding large players prefer the products of foreign manufacturers, as they have higher quality. The high quality products we have in agriculture: dairy products, cheese, fruit and vegetables can compete with foreign. The same types of cheeses, which came under sanctions, appeared on the Russian market from domestic producers, it is of comparable quality.

Moses Furdik, managing partner of the company “FOK” (“Financial and organizational consulting”:

The most important topics of import substitution in the near future is milk, fruit, and greenhouse vegetables. In other areas a sufficient level of domestic production has been achieved or is no economic sense in its radical extension.

A separate theme — fish. There is a prospect of increased supplies from the Far East and the development of fisheries in the European part of Russia. For the first need to improve logistics infrastructure and the second the gradual launch of a significant number of very large projects. Both — not exactly a quick process

In General, to support import substitution is now more useful, not restrictive measures, and funding or incentives for investment projects. But with these questions there needs certainty, stability and transparency

In General, it is more important have already become not issues of import substitution by themselves, and quality control of manufactured products and promote deep processing of agricultural products

Another important aspect of the near future, in my opinion, is to support food exports (including manufactured in the far East), especially in Asia-Pacific countries.

Here is what the about of import substitution in Russia thinks Pavel Grudinin:

— Tkachev, we must first see how many tractors and harvesters we buy. And he realizes that due to the fact that we all stopped buying farm equipment, soon he will have himself along with his subordinates to go into the field and mow. And maybe then we will reach 100% of import substitution.

To compete at least with Belarus, Tkachev need to look at data on the number of applied fertiliser for us and for them. Where in Russia will be a good harvest if we applied fertilizers three times less than the Belarusians?

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