Newly appointed Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut expects foreign sales to reach $45 billion this year © Getty Images / Bloomberg Creative Photos

Cross-border sales of grain produced in Russia will hit an all-time high this year, Russian Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut has said, adding that exports are expected to reach some $45 billion in monetary terms.

Speaking during a plenary session on food security at the international ‘Russia’ exhibition forum, Lut said the country had exported $43.5 billion worth of grain last year.

“We have great prospects for the export of crop products this year,” she said “We seem to be setting a record pace for the export of our grains.”

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country’s agricultural sector must increase exports by 50% by 2030 compared to figures recorded in 2021. Back then, the country’s exports of agricultural produce amounted to $37 billion.

Grain exports are expected to rise to more than $55 billion by 2030, according to Lut, who said the ministry also expects Russian farmers to boost production by 25% within six years in order to meet the president’s targets.

The minister has called for a decrease in production costs, which would help Russian farmers to become more competitive on international markets. She also said the sector was yet to resolve the problem of providing exporters with domestic dry-cargo carriers.

Russia now world’s fourth largest agricultural exporter – Putin Russia now world’s fourth largest agricultural exporter – Putin

In March, Putin said Russia was the world’s fourth-biggest exporter of agricultural produce, and number one in terms of wheat sales. However, he highlighted the need to boost the production of tomatoes and certain other types of produce with a view to decreasing reliance on imports.

Russian food exports have surged in recent years due to bumper harvests and attractive pricing, despite Western sanctions that have hampered the country’s foreign trade. Moscow has also been supplying free grain to a number of African countries that are facing food insecurity.

Earlier this year, the head of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture’s Agroexport center, Dmitry Krasnov, said Russia has been exporting around 250 types of agricultural produce to more than 100 countries around the world. He said China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Algeria and Indonesia were among the most important markets, while exports to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and former Soviet states were expected to increase in the near future. (RT)