Russia is developing exports of chicken, mainly to Muslim countries with Arab populations, primarily because of the current geopolitical situation in the world, said Gazizov.
The Russian Halal Center is in constant communication with customers in Muslim countries, who have confirmed that Russia’s poultry products are very attractive to their local markets, both in terms of price and quality, he added.
It is believed local importers want to diversify supply and replace some quantities coming from traditional suppliers, such as Brazil, with products from Russia.
As a result, Russian halal chicken exports have jumped threefold, from 15,000 tonnes (t) in 2014 to an anticipated 45,000t in 2017, Gazizov estimated. The largest suppliers are GAP Resource and agricultural holding Belaya Ptitsa.
In total, Russia exports around 125,000t of poultry meat per year, which means that halal currently accounts for less than 30% of total export supplies.
When exporting poultry products to the Muslim countries, Russian poultry farms have to take into account the taste of local consumers, who prefer small poultry carcases with weights of up to 1kg, said Gazizov. In Russia, there are few companies producing these types of product, as consumers in Russia’s domestic market prefer broilers with a carcase weight above 2kg.
In 2020, Russia will export around 370,000t of poultry with a total value of around RUB25.4 billion (US$400m), according to a recent forecast from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.
This means Russia could export around 270,000-300,000t of halal poultry in 2020 – at least if the Russian Halal Center is able to make its forecast a reality.
Russia has recently been approved to export its poultry products to the markets of Saudi Arabia and Iran, while the country’s officials are striving open access to the markets of Indonesia and Malaysia, where 230 million consumers of halal products now live, Gazizov revealed in a statement from the Russian Halal Center earlier this year.
Meanwhile, official statistical information from Russia’s Federal Customs Service has shown that the main export market for Russian poultry is still the Asia-Pacific region. In the period from January to October 2017 this region accounted for more than 50% of the country’s total poultry exports, or 43,000t, which go to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
The Gulf countries, together with North Africa, have been importing roughly 30%-35% of Russia’s total poultry meat exports in recent years.
In addition, the Russian Halal Center believes that the country could also establish halal poultry exports to the European Union, “due to the fast-growing Muslim community in Europe”.