Share of imported food products in Russian stores decreased significantly

31 may 2017 | Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Russians enthusiastically started producing their own blue and white mold cheese, and became so advanced in oyster and mussel farming that in the near future it will be possible to refuse to import these products. Rossiyskaya Gazeta asked the Deputy Head of the Department for Expert Analytics of the Analytical Center Elena Razumova to report on the progress of import substitution in general.

Elena Razumova
Elena Razumova
Department for Expert Analytics

The share of imported food products in Russian stores decreased significantly. "This rate has fallen from 34% in 2014 to 23% these days," Ms. Razumova noted, referring to the Federal State Statistics Service data. According to the expert, this indicator has been holding steadily during the last 1.5 years, which may point to a certain limit of import substitution.

If we consider specific product segments, some of them do have potential for increasing the share of domestic products. Russia, for instance, still faces some challenges with the production of its own high-quality milk and butter, whilst the demand for them remains high.

With regard to the substitution of imported goods dropped out as a result of the embargo, Russia succeeded in replacing goods of large product groups (pork, poultry, beef, and frozen fish) and of smaller ones such as liquid milk, fermented milk products and fish fillets with its own produce, noted Ms. Razumova. Speaking of powder milk and cheese, the "embargoed" goods were partially or completely replaced by imports from other countries. However, Russia did not succeed in replacing imported chilled fish, sausages and butter.

As regards fruits, one cannot draw precise conclusions due to the lack of prompt statistics in this area. However, following the results for the first half of 2016, it can be said that apple, strawberry, and watermelon imports are decreasing (with the decline rate of more than 30%), which can indirectly point to the country's own success in these product groups, Ms. Razumova added. 

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta