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体制移行期ロシアの食料市場 : 需要と輸入の分析を中心として

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Title: 体制移行期ロシアの食料市場 : 需要と輸入の分析を中心として
Other Titles: Food Market in a Transition Economy : The Case of Russian Animal Products
Authors: 山村, 理人1 Browse this author
Authors(alt): Yamamura, Rihito1
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: 北海道大学スラブ研究センター
Journal Title: スラヴ研究
Journal Title(alt): Slavic Studies
Volume: 46
Start Page: 215
End Page: 247
Abstract: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's position in the international food and agricultural market has dramatically changed. In spite of the record low level of grain harvest from 1994 to 1996, Russia has practically stopped imports of grain. As a result of the relatively good grain harvest in 1997, which was still far behind the average production levels in the 1970s and 1980s, Russia has even tried to export a huge amount (about 10 million tons) of grain. On the other hand, Russia's dependence on imported food has remarkably increased. In the late 1980s, the share of imported goods in total food consumption in the former Soviet Union was around 15-16%. In Russia this share has risen to the current level of 25-28%. The main object of this study is to analyze the factors that have caused such drastic changes in Russia's food market. Analysis will be focused on the problems of demand and import of animal products, because these products have played a crucial role in the changes in Russia's food and agricultural market. At the same time, on the basis of this analysis we can discuss about future prospects for Russia's agricultural production. Clearly, the recovery of agricultural production will depend on the macroeconomic improvement in Russia's economy in the future. However, this does not mean that future recovery of the macroeconomy will automatically restore agricultural production to its previous level. There are two key factors that affect the future of agricultural production in Russia. The first factor is the extent of increases of consumer demand for animal products following improvement in the macroeconomy, and the second factor is the share of domestic products in Russia's market for animal products. Therefore, it is crucially important to analyze the demand for and imports of animal products in order to estimate the future situation of agriculture in Russia. Demand Function Analysis: In the first section, the author describes the result of the estimation of a demand function for animal products in Russia. The calculation is based on the cross-section household budget data (divided into ten income classes in each region of the Russian Federation), which were not accessible for Western scholars until the publications by the Goskomstat and the Russian Ministry of Labor in the late 1990s. The estimated elasticities of demand for animal products (see table 4) are unexpectedly low, compared with the estimates in the Soviet period. Possible explanations for this are as follows: First, it is likely that the high percentage of self-produced goods in the total household consumption of animal products in Russia has lowered elasticities of demand estimated on the basis of household budget data. Second, we must take into consideration the possibility that people's traditional consumption behavior, which was formed in the Soviet period, still remains in Russia and that the process of adjustment or convergence to the "normal" pattern of consumption in the market economy is still underway. If this is the case, the elasticities of demand will remain lowered during the transition period until the adjustment process has been completed. The latter point is discussed in detail in the following section. International Comparison: The author has attempted to verify the hypothesis of lowered income elasticity of demand during the transition period on the basis of multivariable regression analysis of the relationship between GDP per capita and consumption of meat products. Data from 34 countries in Western Europe, North and South America, and Oceania and data from 12 former socialist countries are used for comparison. The results (Table 6) show that in almost all former socialist countries, the "residuals," i.e., the amount of meat consumption that can not be explained by the income level (per capita GDP calculated in PPP) and the amount of consumption of substitutes in each country, have high positive values. The reason for this may be that the elements of consumption behavior in these countries that have been inherited from the socialist period still remain and the level of demand for animal products remains higher than that in countries with the same level of per capita GDP. If this is true, and the adjustment process is continuing in the transition period, then the "residuals" are becoming smaller, thus making the elasticities of demand in these countries very low. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the average income elasticities of demand (increase in consumption of animal products / increase in GDP) in former socialist countries with positive economic growth during the period 1991-1997 have been negative (Table 7). Imports: The main factor that has caused a sharp increase in the share of imported goods in the Russian food market is the exchange rate of the Russian ruble, which has been "overvalued" for most of sectors of domestic production, including agriculture. From 1993 to 1997, the exchange rate of the ruble to the US dollar has increased by 6.5-fold in real terms, making prices of imported animal products much lower than prices of domestic products (Table 10). This "overvaluation" of the ruble could bee sustained for many years due to Russia's high level of exports of energy resources. In other words, Russian domestic productions, including agriculture, have been suffering from a kind of "Dutch disease." Other factors that may have affected the Russian food trade, including the Russian government's policies and the cost structure of domestic livestock production, are also discussed in this section. Future Prospects: The situation in Russia has dramatically changed following the 1998 financial crisis and the subsequent devaluation of the ruble. Thanks to the ruble devaluation, the price competitiveness of Russian animal products has recovered to the 1993-1994 level. However, the fundamental structure of the Russian economy, which makes domestic animal production "comparatively disadvantageous," remains the same as before, and the pressure from imports can not be removed without effective protection measures. Estimation of future demand for animal products in Russia based on the calculated income elasticities of demand indicates that it will be almost impossible to restore to that in the Soviet period regardless of how favorable the conditions of economic growth will be in the next decade. Looking at dairy products, for example, even if the annual growth rate of Russia's GDP is kept at about 10% for the next 10 years, the consumption of these products will still be far below the level in the Soviet period. Taking into consideration this demand factor together with the above-mentioned import factor, it can be concluded that livestock production in Russia will continue to be in a serious slump for a long time. This means that domestic demand for grain will also continue to remain low, compared with that in the Soviet period. The grain demand in Russia will remain below 80-85 million tons and Russia will not appear again in the international grain market as a major importer for a long time (except for years with unusually poor harvests).
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