Russia, one of the top three wheat exporters in 2008, hosted the World Grain Forum on June 6-7, – the first event of the international scope for discussing the challenges in today's grain and food markets.
The forum which took place in St-Petersburg gathered representatives of leading world agribusinesses, agriculture ministers from over 20 countries, heads of UN FAO, World Bank, EBRD, and other international organizations.
Russian President D. Medvedev opened the event with a keynote address. One of the main issues was management of the global food reserves amid financial downturn and ever increasing demand for food and grain.
Among the participants was PAVA
– one of the flagship companies of Russian agrisector, represented by Andrey Igoshin, President and Chairman of the Group.
Igoshin presented a report entitled “World flour markets. Export prospects for Russia”.
He gave a detailed overview of the industry export potential and emphasized the need for government support measures - both economic and legislative, as well as the importance to increase the share of exported value added processing products as opposed to grain.
In 2007/08 Russia exported record volume of food grain of 17 mln tonnes, and envisages to increase it up to 21 mln tonnes in the current marketing period.
That said, Russia exports only 0.3% of the manufactured flour. Processors have to deal with high transportation costs of the finished products, and the absence of export subsidies.
“Russia plays an important role in securing world food grain supplies”, PAVA President has commented. “However, we believe that increasing exports of value added grain processing products is a fundamental issue for competitiveness of the national economy.
“Now there have been encouraging signs that a constructive dialogue with the Government will bring about some major changes in this area”.