The move comes as Moscow seeks to replace supplies from Europe and America, which it is blocking because of its diplomatic standoff with the West over the Ukraine conflict.
Confirmation of the permits has been released by Russian food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor and by Shuanghui themselves to GlobalMeatNews. They noted, for instance, that Heilongjiang-based Baoquanling Shuanghui Food Industry Co and Wangkui Shuanghui Beidahuang Food Co have been approved to export pork to Russia.
A spokesperson from the Shuanghui Group told GlobalMeatNews that his company shall be able to export the first batch of pork to Russia by the end of 2014, with the company currently busy with preparations having already received some formal orders for meat. Senior colleagues have been in Russia this week as part of that work.
Feng Yonghui, an analyst at Chinese pigmeat market advisors soozhu.com, told GlobalMeatNews that he anticipated Russia will have ordered frozen pork rather than fresh pigmeat, and that the first export order would be less than 200,000 tonnes, based on his knowledge of warehouse capacity commanded by these two Shuanghui subsidiaries.
Feng also believed the three other Chinese food companies receiving permission to export pork to Russia include LinYi XinCheng JinLuo Meat Products Co; Sichuan Gaojin Food Co; and the Delisi Group Co. These companies were not available for comment for GlobalMeatNews.
However, Feng suggested that Russian purchases of exports from China may not be a long-term trend: “Russia has approved imports pork from China, probably because it is facing sanctions from America and Europe. In the long run, Russia will not give all its pork orders to China, as it will not put all its eggs in one basket, not to mention the potential risk could cause by China’s pig swine flu.”
He suggested, ultimately, Russia would return to importing pork from Denmark or other European exporters, “as they are closer to Russia compared with China”. Russia has banned EU pigmeat imports since January following outbreaks of African Swine Fever in Lithuania, following this up with a total food product ban in August after the EU and US hit Russia with widespread economic sanctions.