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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The quality of wheat questioned the quality of bread

High yield, paradoxically, threatens to lower the quality of wheat, and hence bread, say some experts. Open data indeed show a decline in the share of wheat of the highest class. As the mass of bread is really under threat, but the reasons for this seem quite different.

“High yield has inevitably led to a shortage of quality grain, in particular wheat of the third class, which is one of the most important grain crops for the production of mass sorts of bread in Russia”, – stated in the materials for the meeting on the balance of grain in Russia, which takes place on Monday in the Federation Council, reports RNS. Really? there is a formula – a great harvest equal to the low quality, small yields produce high quality. So bear land.

“Help nobody yells, except for those who want to buy wheat of the 3rd class is cheaper”

This year Russia has collected a record harvest of wheat – 73.3 million tons. But it is skewed towards excessive production of feed (fodder) grains. Five years ago 50% of the crop was wheat is high third grade, and this year – a total of 24.5%, with a significant portion of this wheat is exported. The share of wheat of the fourth (smaller) class, on the contrary, increased and amounted to 32 mln tons, fifth grade 21 million tons.

The shortage of quality wheat affects bread quality. “According to Rosstat, and some experts in the bakery market, despite the growing production figures of grain for the production of bread in the mass segment uses the grain of poor quality. And the volume and dynamics of the baking “improvers” and bread mix in Russia are also an indirect proof of the drop in the quality of bakery products and the growth of counterfeits in the industry”, – stated in the materials.

The call to boost exports at the current value of grain on the world market leads to the fact that manufacturers are virtually forced to sell grain at a price below cost. “In this case, government subsidies virtually subsidize domestic agriculture and the low price of grain for exporters”, – stated in the materials of the Federation Council.

The apparent deficit no

However, the Director of the Department for regulation of agricultural markets Ministry of agriculture Vladimir Volik calms: Russia this year will not face a shortage of grain quality for the production of mass sorts of bread.

According to him, in some regions there is bias in the production of grain in the direction of feed categories, such as the majority of high-quality wheat in Siberia. But the shortage of wheat for bread production “explicitly” does not exist, “because the regions we still do not agree”.

According to estimates of the Ministry of agriculture carry-over stocks of wheat at the end of the season be about 16 million tons. “Of course, there will be a large part of grain of the fourth class, and when we decompose the statistics are, in principle, her country should have been enough,” – said Volik.

The General Director of “Prozerno” Vladimir Petrichenko agree: the lack of wheat as such is unlikely to be. Wheat enough for all domestic millers and foreign buyers. But the quality of the bread really reduced, and prices will continue to rise. The price of bread is not too dependent on the price of flour, and to a lesser extent on wheat prices. Their share in the price structure of production of bread is from 18% to 25%. The cost of a loaf in a greater degree depends on the cost of its production, logistics and commercial margins.

The notion that Russia subsidize domestic agriculture and the low price of grain for exporters, he believes untrue.

“If we subsidize additional grain consumption, even export, each ruble of subsidies is the price our farmers, and we thus support the Russian manufacturer. With regard to benefit buyers from other countries, world prices are the same, and they still come from grain – from Russia or from the United States,” – says Petrichenko. Not accidentally, the authorities of the countries – world leaders in the export of grain (USA, EU, Canada and Australia) in the same way subsidize their producers.

This year the share of food wheat of the third class do less than usual. However, Petrichenko had no problems. “Help nobody yells, except for those who want to buy wheat of third class is cheaper,” he says.

First, according to the expert, to produce 10 million tons of flour (in 2016 was 9.7 million tons of flour), this volume is 16.3 million tonnes – more than enough. Second, the millers used to produce flour wheat is not only third class, but fourth. In the grinding batches of wheat of the fourth class usually takes, 20 to 30 percent. And the volume of the whole wheat (and third, and fourth grade) – more than 52 million tons.

“Therefore, wheat is more than enough for the domestic market, and there is still export potential”, – said petrychenko.

Quality and prices

“As to the quality of flour and baked bread, the problem is, alas. But this question is not to the grain producers, who supposedly can’t provide wheat of high quality, because taken it abroad”, – said the source.

The reason – in reduction of solvent demand. “The flour produced at this price, which takes it to the market. Market orders that could pull the money. Millers then pass it on wheat procurement”, – says Petrichenko. The consumer wants cheap bread, so the millers make flour from cheaper wheat.

“When people will pay a higher price for quality bread and pasta, then the market will immediately respond with the appropriate offer. But for this we need to raise effective demand, or to give subsidies to producers,” the expert concludes.


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