November 11, 2015


Russia faces possible shortfall in meat and dairy supply next year


Russia's import restrictions may lead to a shortfall in meat and dairy products next year, said the country's National Accounts Chamber.


The measure also upset local consumers who are hesitant about accepting Russian products over imports of better quality. Furthermore, the body warned in its report of consequences for failing to gain complete compensation for the "lost volumes of food imports" due to sanctions.


The Chamber's report displeased representatives from the meat and dairy industry association, with David Yakobashvili, the vice-president of the Russian Union of Industralists and Entrepreneurs, assuring Russians not to be troubled over a potential deficit in meat, dairy and cheese products in 2016. An alternative to meet local supply - according to Yakobashvili - would be to seek "good-quality" products from Belarus.


Even then, he acknowledged that substituting imports in the meat industry would be a challenge due to long payback periods required for investment projects and the limits to which companies can buy imported equipment and components.


The National Meat Association (NMA) also expressed its dissatisfaction with the Chamber's observations, claiming that the body did not employ statistical data which revealed Russia's dipping dependence on imports compared to 2014.


"According to the NMA's forecasts, at year-end, our dependence on imports will amount to only 6%," said Maxim Sinelnikov, the NMA's head of its executive committee.


Russia's substitution of imports is still struggling to keep up with the fall in imports, according to experts. However, a critical point in this development is consumption, expected to slide to 10.5 million tonnes in 2015, from 10.8 million tonnes last year.

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