Strong Q1 increase in Russian pork imports

Russia drew heavily on pork supplies from Brazil in the first quarter of this year, benefiting in the process from the devaluation of the Brazilian real, according to AHDB Pork.

Fresh/frozen pork imports into Russia totalled 50,200 tonnes during the quarter, compared with 31,500 tonnes in the same period last year. Almost 46,000 tonnes of this year’s Q1 imports came from Brazil with Chile taking second place on just 3,200 tonnes.

“This growth (in Brazilian supplies) was helped by the embargo against Ukrainian pork, which has been in place since January,” said AHDB Pork, adding that the Brazilian product has become increasingly price competitive due to the country’s devalued currency

The average unit price of Brazilian pork was more than 24% cheaper in Q1 this year than in the same period in 2015.

As for Russian pork exports, AHDB Pork said that while levels have started to “ramp up”, total export volumes remain relatively low.

“There has been significant investment in the pig production industry in Russia, of course, with the government heavily subsidising pig production investment projects,” said AHDB Pork. “This investment aims to grow Russia’s commercial production, with the goal to be self-sufficient by 2020. This could lead to Russia becoming a more significant exporter in the future.”

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