The export of non resource-based, non-energy exports in Russia soared 23% to $70 billion in the first half of this year, the head of the Russian Export Center Andrey Slepnev told the Izvestya newspaper.
The positive dynamic has been developing for the 20th month in a row, he said, adding that sales of metals, food, timber and paper products demonstrated the highest growth. Wheat is the most demanded commodity among Russian food products as wheat exports grew by $1.4 billion in the first half of 2018 and reached around $3.2 billion. This outrunning growth pertains to last year’s record wheat harvest of 134.1 million tons of grain, a representative of the Russian Export Center told the publication.
The demand for Russian goods mostly surged in countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), eastern Asia, western and eastern Europe and the Middle East.
According to Slepnev, currently the share of Russia’s non resource-based exports in is 33%.
Valery Mironov, Deputy Director of the Higher School of Economics’ Center of Development Institute, does not think the time is right to say that the country’s exports have substantially diversified.
“It is necessary to make sure that the share of goods with a high degree of processing, which now stands at 13.5%, rises to 30% of total exports,” said Alisen Alisenov, assistant professor at the economic and social sciences department of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).
He expects Russia’s non resource-based export to increase by another 20% by 2021. However, the expert noted that to reach this target, the country needs to restructure its economic model, particularly easing the currency and customs regulation, and lowering administrative barriers for exporters.