44 million tons, edging out America's record from distant 1981
The December wheat export data for Russia came in this month and has shown that last year Russia sold more wheat abroad than any other country ever has. Way back in 1981 the US sold 43.9 million tons (41.7 million tons by another account). Last year Russia edged that out with 44 million tons.
For the third year in a row Russia has been the world leader in wheat exports. Moreover its lead has been growing. It exported 1.3 million tons or 5 percent more than the US in 2016, 5.8 million tons or 21 percent more in 2017, and 21.5 million tons or almost double as the US in 2018.
Russia's success in getting its wheat export industry off the ground and into the stratosphere has been truly astounding, the Soviet Union by comparison sometimes had trouble feeding itself and was reliant on imports from the US.
The primary reason behind Russia's success are greater yields per area planted (albeit there is still much room for improvement compared to the west), but to be fair a secondary reason is also that since the 2014 collapse in oil prices and start of western financial warfare on Russia the ruble has been undervalued making Russian exports cheaper, as well as making it more difficult for domestic consumers to compete with foreign ones.
That said the Russian meat production (table below) is likewise growing and has been restored to its Soviet peak, so it doesn't seem as if the Russian meat industry is having difficulty purchasing animal feed.