FAS/Moscow estimates record high levels of sugar beet and refined sugar production in 2016/17 due to favorable weather conditions, high yields and improved processing and storage technologies. Post forecasts Russia’s sugar beet production in 2017/18 at 48.6 million metric tons (MMT), more than a five percent decrease from the historically record high production in 2016/17. The area planted to sugar beets is forecast to increase slightly more than one percent from the 1.11 million hectares planted to sugar beets in 2016, to 1.12 million hectares in 2017. Sugar production in MY 2017/18 is forecasted at 5.75 MMT, compared with 6.1 MMT in MY 2016/17. Domestic sugar consumption in 2016/17 is estimated at 6.3 MMT. FAS/Moscow forecasts that imports of sugar, in raw equivalent, will continue to decrease to 550,000 MT in MY 2017/18 as a result of the record high domestic sugar beet crop in MY2016/17, an above average crop forecasted for 2017, as well as high prices for imported raw sugar. Industry sources contend that the main constraint for increasing exports is the lack of infrastructure in Russian ports and insufficient production of high value sugar which foreign markets demand.