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Russian Federation: Sugar sector review

December, 2013

The sugar sector is central to the Russian Federation’s economy: during the last ten years, it has expanded dramatically and sugar is currently the second most important source of food calories for Russian consumers. Both the privatization of farms and factories in the early 1990s and the variable import duties system aiming to protect local producers instituted in 2004 have contributed to this sharp increase in production and decrease in imports. Under the FAO cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the FAO Investment Centre has just published the third report in a series of three sugar sector reviews, the first two covering Serbia and Ukraine. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the Russian Federation sugar sector, underlines the short and long term challenges it faces, and includes recommendations for future national policies. The review underlines the main areas of improvement for the Russian sugar sector: modernization, consolidation, profitability and competitiveness. The sector has been important to the country for a long time, with 44 percent of operational beet factories dating back to the 1940s. But this long history also indicates the necessary modernization of the industry. The publication is intended to understand the evolution of the sugar sector in the Russian Federation, the short and long-term challenges it faces, and its potential for sustainable growth. The study concludes with a number of recommendations to the Russian Federation government, such as a reduction in import tariff protection to boost the industry’s competitiveness.
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