Two years ago weather conditions were very good, but last year heat and drought reduced the harvest. This year weather was again rather favourable. Harvests in the first ten months of this year were up 7 % y-o-y for grains and pulses, 20 % for sunflowers and 24 % for sugar beets. The harvests of potatoes and other vegetables were roughly similar to those of 2018.
Food prices tend to react to the size of the harvest. They were pushed down by bumper harvest in 2017 and pushed up by meagre harvest last year. This year’s fairly good harvest has again stemmed the rise in food prices. Whereas from last October to this October overall consumer prices rose by 3.7 %, food prices grew by 4.2 %.
Over the past decade, cultivation of sunflowers, rapeseed and soybeans has soared, with about 15 % of cultivated land now dedicated to their cultivation. About half of cultivated land is dedicated to growing grain and about 20 % to fodder crops.
Animal husbandry has experienced a gradual evolution over the past decade. The number of cattle in Russia has been declining at 1 % a year, the number of pigs and chickens has risen at 4 % a year, and the number of goats and sheep seems quite stable. These trends have generally held from year to year, but the increase in chicken numbers has slowed.