How an Oil Giant (Russia) Came to Dominate Wheat

 

By Anatoly Medetsky, Bloomberg

Nov 12, 2017

 

Russia, a leading exporter of crude oil for decades now, is increasingly dominating another critical global commodity. Its output of wheat has surged in recent years as good growing conditions boost farmers’ profits, allowing them to reinvest in better seeds and equipment. As low oil prices hurt the ruble, making grain more alluring for overseas buyers, Russia grabbed more of the wheat-export market from major shippers like the U.S. This is particularly welcome news for Russia as it tries to cut its dependence on agricultural imports, after it banned imports of some western foods in retaliation to sanctions imposed over the annexation of Crimea.

 

1. Who’s buying Russian wheat?

 

About half the countries in the world import wheat from Russia. Some of the biggest buyers are situated a short distance away, in the Middle East and North Africa, but demand comes from as far away as Mexico and Indonesia. Russia’s top customer, Egypt, depends on Russian wheat to feed its people, while No. 2 buyer Turkey uses the grain to make flour it then exports. This season’s shipments are expected to be up more than 40 percent from just three years ago.

 

2. What’s the allure of Russian grain? ...

 

3. How did Russia become a wheat export king? ...

 

4. What does Russian dominance mean for world markets? ...

 

5. Can Russia keep tightening its grip on exports? ...

 

6. Can Russia replicate its success with other foodstuff? ...

 

more, including links, infographic, chart

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-13/how-an-oil-giant-russia-came-to-dominate-wheat-quicktake-q-a