Some of this increase was achieved because of the increasing number of countries allowing imports of Russian meat over the past year. According to official information from Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture, the country exported meat and meat products to 35 countries in 2017, compared to only 23 in 2016.
In 2018, Russia plans to enhance efforts to promote its meat products abroad, including opening up new markets, Rosselkhoznadzor added.
Speaking at the Russian Parliament on 17 January, Russian minister of agriculture Alexander Tkachev praised the strong growth in meat exports in 2017. The anticipated future increase in overseas markets for meat would also help Russia to double its total exports of agricultural products during the next few years, taking it to US$40 billion by 2025, Tkachev claimed.
It is understood that meat exports from Russia increased significantly from current levels when the country was authorised to export to China, according to Tkachev.
Chicken is pushed out
Russia exported 104,400t of poultry meat in 2017, up 40% compared to 2016, Lyubov Burdienko, commercial director of the Russian consulting agency EMEAT, told GlobalMeatNews. The strong rise in exports meant meat producers from Russia reached a new stage in their development and would probably keep increasing supplies abroad, she added.
Almost half (45%) of poultry exported from Russia in 2017 went to Ukraine and another 41% to Vietnam, Burdienko estimated. Meanwhile, 98.1% of exported poultry was chicken and 1.3% was turkey, she estimated. The largest exporters were Cherkizovo, GAP Resource, Prioskolie and Miratorg.
Russia has been putting efforts into increasing poultry exports during the past four to five years, as rising domestic production has led to saturation in the domestic market, eventually pushing prices down despite a recovery in consumer purchasing power, Burdienko commented.
Pork lags behind
Russia exported 21,000t of pork in 2017, up 50% compared to the previous year, Tkachev added. Exports of beef also jumped by 70% year-on-year to 1,700t.
However, Russia failed to significantly increase exports of pork. The Russian Union of Pig Producers (RUPP) was expecting exports to reach 70-75,000t in 2017. Yuri Kovalev, chairman of RUPP, had previously forecast that, based on a strong rise in exports in 2017, Russia could increase exports of pork further to about 85,000t in 2018.
RUPP has not commented on the weak exports of pork in 2017, despite a request from GlobalMeatNews.
It was also estimated that Russia exported more than 100,000t of various meat products, including products such as chicken feet, to the countries of south-east Asia, although no details on those export figures are available so far.