February 17, 2015


Ukraine's meat exports to rise 19% despite challenges



Despite market challenges, Ukraine could raise its meat exports by 19.3% year on year in 2015, according to a forecast by the country's Economic Development Ministry.


Meat imports, on the other hand, will slide 16%.


Having trouble with delivery of pork and beef out of its territories, Ukraine might increase mainly poultry exports this year.


The forecast showed higher export volumes of meat and poultry at 260,000 tonnes, compared to 218,000 tonnes in 2014. The increased volumes could include 210,000 tonnes of poultry, 30,000 tonnes of beef and 15,000 tonnes of pork.


Ukrainian meat production is also anticipated to increase in 2015; the Ministry of Economic Development predicted a 1.8% growth year on year to 2.44 million tonnes, compared to 2.398 million tonnes in 2014. This upward trend includes the production of beef (2015: 410,000 tonnes; 2014: 409,000 tonnes), pork (2015: 775,000 tonnes, 2014: 763,000 tonnes) and poultry (2015: 1.21 million tonnes, 2014: 1.18 million tonnes).


Market analysts and officials had cautioned that the pork and beef production in Ukraine could suffer if there's inadequate progress on the export front.


A worryingly outlook lies for Ukrainian pork exports which may be hampered by a lack of demand from the EU market.


With the bloc's self-sufficiency in the meat standing at a very secure 111%, there "is little hope of a rise in pork exports", said Vitaly Bashynsky, the deputy chairman of Ukraine's veterinary body, Gosvetfitosluzhby.


However, beef, lamb, goat meat and dairy products hold better prospects, he added.


In a further blow to Ukraine's meat exporting potential, the country will not be authorised to deliver to the EU due to an absence of research on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, said representatives from the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UAC).


With that rejection, Ukraine may miss out a lucrative beef trade to the region which, according to UAC expert Alina Zharko, could be valued annually at US$50 million in the initial years.


"Beef exports to the EU would allow Ukraine to compensate for the losses from the closure of the Russian market, as we already successfully export poultry to this market", Zahrko said.


Meanwhile, an expected drop in consumption and the continued fall of the Ukrainian currency will contribute to lower meat imports this year.


According to official forecast, 2015's pork imports will decline 17.4% from 2014; poultry by 21.9%; and beef, 37.5%. Total meat imports for 2015 will be 169,000 tonnes.