Russia eyes meat exports to the EU despite veterinary problems

By initiating meat supplies to the European Union (EU) and China, Russia could increase its total meat exports from 300,000 tonnes (t) in 2017 to 1 million t in 2023, Alexey Gordeyev, deputy chairman of the Russian Government has claimed.

2018-08-Russian Export.jpgSpeaking during a working trip to the Tver region, Gordeyev said that, to reach that goal, the Russian meat industry needed to break through administrative barriers in both the EU and China, adding that the Russian federal government was putting a lot of effort into doing just that.

Not safe meat

Russia's National Meat Association (NMA) has said it expects Russia to boost meat exports to 1 million t per year by 2024. However, major factors constraining Russian meat exports include veterinary issues, such as ongoing outbreaks of African swine fever (ASE) and avian influenza (Al), Sergey Yushin, chairman of NMA, told GlobalMeatNews earlier.

The EU banned imports of poultry from Russia on 16 July, following several Al outbreaks registered in the central and southern regions of the country. Belarus and Kazakhstan have also introduced import restrictions. Those measures may negatively affect Russia's poultry exports, as 18 companies in the country have been authorised to export poultry to the ELI, while Kazakhstan was the biggest importer of Russian chicken.

Meanwhile, Russia registered two outbreaks of ASF on commercial pig farms in July. In response, Gordeyev said the government could revise its legislation and introduce fines on pig processors that allowed ASF outbreaks to occur in their production facilities.

Exporting by-products

According to Russian experts the 2017 export volumes quoted by Gordeyev covered not only meat, but also by-products. Russia is targeting these at markets in the Middle East, south-east Asia and Africa, but the majority of its products are exported to the neighbouring countries and regions of Kazakhstan, Eastern Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.

Experts believe, that the country could boost exports of by-products to China by nearly 10-fold from 30,000t, worth $52 million in 2017, to nearly 300,000 tonnes, worth $520m by 2023. In doing so, Russia could take advantage of the trade war between China and the US, which has limited trade in by-products between the two countries.

In the meantime, Russian experts believe it would be more difficult for the Russian meat industry to succeed in the El-J. In Europe, Russian meat exports are facing two major challenges: the European Commission's refusal to recognise regionalisation and compartmentalisation of Russian territory when it comes to animal disease; and prohibitively high import tariffs, along with one of the most stringent quota systems in the world.

SOURCE: GlobalMeatNews