Voices from Russia

Monday, 26 February 2018

What Sanctions? Russia’s Investment Rating Upgraded

________________________

On 23 February 2018, Standard and Poors raised its estimation of Russia’s sovereign credit rating from BB+ to BBB-. This is good news for the Russian Federation as it continues to realign its economy in response to the various sanctions that the West (mainly the USA) imposes on the nation. Under President Putin’s leadership, Russia gradually improved since the peak of the sanctions crisis near the end of 2015. The rating change means that S&P no longer considers Russia as “junk” investment territory. The Financial Times reported that S&P attributed the upgrade to the country’s “prudent policy response” taken in response to the sanctions. The analysts further said this:

The ratings are supported by Russia’s commitment to conservative macroeconomic management, its strong net external asset position, low government debt, and relatively high monetary flexibility, including a flexible exchange rate. The ratings are constrained by our assessment of Russia’s economy, which remains dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, as well as by wider institutional and regulatory weaknesses. Further constraints include geopolitical tension, and resulting international sanctions, creating a drag on Russia’s long-term economic growth prospects.

The S&P rating lift takes Russia into stable investment territory. Another analytics agency, Fitch Ratings, affirmed Russia’s long-term foreign and local currency issue default ratings, also at “BBB-” with a Positive Outlook:

Russia’s ratings balance a strong sovereign balance sheet, robust external finances, and an improved policy framework against weaker macroeconomic performance than peers, structural weaknesses (commodity dependence and governance risks), and geopolitical tensions. The Positive Outlook reflects continued progress in strengthening the economic policy framework underpinned by a more flexible exchange rate, a strong commitment to inflation-targeting, and a prudent fiscal strategy. These policies contribute to improved macroeconomic stability and, together with robust external and fiscal balance sheets, increase the economy’s resilience to shocks. The estimated federal budget deficit narrowed to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2017, less than half the 2016 out-turn and well below the BBB median. The non-oil deficit shrank to 7.9 percent of GDP in 2017 from 9.1 percent in 2016. Fitch forecasts that Russia will post a fiscal deficit of 0.6 percent in 2018 (outperforming the budgeted 1.3 percent deficit), reflecting higher-than-budgeted oil prices, continued non-oil and gas revenue growth, and expenditure restraint. It should achieve the current official 2019 primary balance forecast comfortably, with Fitch forecasting surpluses at both the primary and overall levels.

The rest of the report is similarly quite positive. It’s an interesting point that many Russian businesses are grateful for the opportunities created by the sanctions even though they had the intent to hurt and punish Russia for whatever cause célèbre the West could dream up. Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, doesn’t it?

25 February 2018

Seraphim Hanisch

Russia Feed     

http://russiafeed.com/what-sanctions-russia-investment-rating-got-upgraded/

Advertisements

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Experts Say FIFA World Cup Will Bolster Russian Beer Market

________________________

Data provided by Morgan Stanley showed that the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer would boost beer consumption. It estimated football fans’ impact on beer consumption at 2 percent. As a result, it expects that Russia’s beer market would grow during 2018, for the first time in a decade. The Russian Brewers’ Union confirmed that beer sales in Russia, which declined steadily over the past few years, could indeed grow in 2018. Kirill Bolmatov, Corporate Relations Director at Heineken Russia said:

To begin with, there’s no bad news. The excise duty didn’t rise in 2018, nor were there any new restrictions. Non-alcoholic beer made a substantial contribution, which is the most promising segment now.

According to the Russian Brewers’ Union, despite a decrease in beer consumption, sales of non-alcoholic beer grew by 5.6 percent from January to September 2017. Oraz Durdyev, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director at SUN InBev, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, pointed up:

Football can be of help as well. As a rule, during World Cups, beer consumption in a host country grows by about 5 percent. Largely, this is due to the established consumption culture in Western countries, because beer is always associated with football.

Pavel Filippov, PR manager at Efes Rus said:

In addition to that, the event will be in the summer, which is the peak season for brewers.

11 January 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/pressreview/984567

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Russia World Wheat Exports Leader: Shipping Over 25 Million Tonnes

00-russia-harvesters-wheat-290117

____________________________________

On Thursday, the Russian Export Centre told us that Russia became the world leader in wheat exports in 2016:

According to evaluations, in 2016, Russia’s wheat exports exceeded 25 million tonnes, which surpassed last year’s [2015] record by about 14 percent.

The Centre also noted that the USA, the long-standing world leader in wheat exports, exported about 24 million tonnes in 2016, Canada and Australia, about 20 million tonnes, whilst France and the Ukraine exported 18 million tonnes of wheat. According to the Centre, Egypt was the largest importer of Russian wheat, purchasing about 5.7 million tonnes. Other buyers were Turkey, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Sudan, Iran, and Morocco. In 2016, Russia had a record grain harvest, totalling about 119.1 million tonnes, including 73.3 million tonnes of wheat.

26 January 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201701261050035505-russia-wheat-export-leader/

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

FAO Sez Russia is Now Major Actor on Global Agriculture Markets

00-russia-harvester-farm-210816

____________________________________

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva told RIA Novosti:

Russia made significant progress in the agriculture sector; it’s now an important player on global agricultural markets. It’s poised to become the biggest global wheat exporter in 2016/17. Further, our understanding is that forecasts show that Russia’s total cereal production in 2016 will reach record levels. Russia was one of the most important partners of FAO, significantly contributing to global nutrition security. The [Russian-FAO] coöperation revolves around knowledge exchange and provision of technical assistance to developing countries in ensuring food security, food safety, nutrition, and in tackling transnational animal and plant diseases. FAO is also very much interested in attracting Russian expertise to its forestry, fisheries, land/water management, and soil programmes.

Russia provided 6 million USD (366 million Roubles. 41.4 million Renminbi. 405.6 million INR. 7.878 million CAD. 8.028 million AUD. 5.658 million Euros. 4.728 million UK Pounds) to FAO to implement a food and nutrition security project in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Russia is also interested in allocating money for a FAO project for the progressive control of foot-and-mouth disease in the same region. In 2015, during my official visit to the Russian Federation, we signed a 1 million USD (61 million Roubles. 6.9 million Renminbi. 67.6 million INR. 1.313 million CAD. 1.338 million AUD. 943,000 Euros. 788,000 UK Pounds) coöperation agreement to support the Global Soil Partnership. I also hope that FAO and Russia would boost coöperation to support FAO work in post-disaster and emergency situations across the globe. The international community can achieve the ambitious goal of eradicating hunger by 2030. We aren’t talking about simply halving hunger’s scope or reducing the absolute numbers of hungry people… we’re talking about really ending hunger by 2030, and providing healthy sustainable diets to all. This is a bold goal, but we’re convinced that it’s indeed viable and affordable. We can and we must be the Zero Hunger generation.

The struggle against hunger requires multiple efforts in many spheres. The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, including elimination of hunger and poverty, as well ensuring quality education, are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. The instability and various conflicts around the world have a negative impact on the issue of global food security, as well as social protection capabilities. Conflict is one of the main… if not the main… drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition. It reduces food availability, disrupts access to food and health care, interrupts food production and agriculture, and undermines social protection systems. Indeed, conflict characterised every famine in the modern era. Some 80 percent of humanitarian funding appeals had links to conflicts, adding that over 56 million people affected by protracted crises were in an emergency level of food insecurity. The FAO exerts efforts to promote stability and food security in conflict-ridden countries such as Nigeria, which deals with the Boko Haram insurgency.

13 December 2016

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201612131048482533-russia-agriculture-markets/

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.