December 18, 2008
Russia to consume 10 million tonnes of meat by 2012
With domestic meat production lagging by 2.8 milion tonnes, Russsia may become the world's biggest meat importer as it is expected to consume 10 million tonnes of meat yearly by 2012.
Poultry consumption has tripled in the last fifteen years, with imports now doubling those of pork. The cattle herd in Russia today is 25 million head, and the country consumes 7.5 million tonnes of meat.
Russia plans to be self sufficient in the production of pork and poultry within the next five years, but beef production
may not catch up with demand for at least fifteen years.
The banning of 19 American meat plants as well as the cutting of the US poultry quota by 300 thousand tones in September, has created an opportunity for importing countries like Australia and Brazil to enter the Russian meat market.
Russia is the largest buyer of American poultry products importing 870 thousand tonnes last year, and the US' second largest market for pork after China.
Foreign livestock and meat processing companies are flocking into Russia to get a piece of the pie of this enormous market. European companies are already building multi-million dollar pig farms and poultry units as global meat giants have appointed agents or set up offices in the main port of St Petersburg and in Moscow.