Russia increases production, reducing reliance on imports
Since 2014, Russia has reduced reliance on pork imports, with bans on all EU pork products implemented in August 2014. A number of other western countries have also had embargos placed on their products. Russia hasn’t sought to replace these products, instead increasing domestic production.
Russian pig meat imports (incl. offal) were down 6% in the first two months of the year, to total 21,200 tonnes.
A ban on Brazilian pork products was lifted back in October 2018. Brazilian pork imports are slowly returning to Russia trade data, but at lower levels than before the ban was implemented. It could be that Brazilian exporters have developed new relationships elsewhere around the world, Russia has reduced its reliance on imports or a combination of both. It is worth noting however, that declines in shipments from Brazil have been mitigated slightly. Increased shipments from both Chile and Argentina have been recorded in the first two months of 2019.
Meanwhile, Russia has also been developing export markets. Pig meat exports (excl. offal) in the first two months of the year are up 8% compared to 2018, to total 11,700 tonnes. Almost all of the increase has been exported to neighbouring Belarus. However looking back at 2018, a number of other markets, including Japan, also expanded. Going forward, the USDA forecasts Russian production to increase again, to total 3.3 million tonnes (cwe).