November 6, 2013
Russia's pork imports may drop by 20% on-year
In 2013, Russia's pork imports could fall by 20% on-year to 960,000 tonnes, the lowest level ever recorded in the country.
"By the end of 2012, pork import volumes amounted to 1.25 million tonnes. During the first nine months of this year, there was a 17% decrease in imports on-year, so the figure for the whole year is expected to decline by 20% or 200,000 tonnes-250,000 tonnes. This means total imports of pork to Russia would be less than one million tonnes for the first time in modern history," said the head of Pig Producers Union, Yuri Kovalev.
He said that the drop in imported pork was attributed to the cancellation of the preferential system of Customs duties on pork import from developing countries, in particular Brazil, and major restrictions on imports of pork with ractopamine, introduced for a number of North and South American countries.
The decrease in imports gave a strong boost to domestic pork production, and Kovalev predicted that pork production in Russia would rise by 500,000 tonnes compared to last year.
"We've been implementing a set of measures aimed at decreasing imports. However, despite a significant increase in pork production in Russia, we do not expect any growth of pork resources on the market or any oversupply, and pork prices will be stable," he added.
Kovalev added that domestic pork prices had risen following the fall in imports. Since May this year, he said, pork prices rose by 25% and almost reached the level before Russia's membership in the World Trade Organisation in August 2012, when prices start falling. According to Kovalev, the increase in prices has returned a good level of profitability to Russian pork producers.