Russia’s Limits on Meat Imports Boost Domestic Livestock Producers

19 November 2018

A slump in Russian imports of beef and pork has spurred greater domestic production. Production of pork is expected to grow 8.8 percent in 2018 from the previous year, and is expected to increase 1.4 percent in 2019 to 3.31 million tonnes. Beef production is forecast to rise 1.1 percent from 1.34 million to 1.35 million tonnes in 2019, according to a recent USDA report.

Moscow in July banned imports of agricultural products from countries that had levied sanctions against Russia. And Russia in late 2017 began restricting imports of pork and beef from Brazil, one of the biggest providers of meat to the Russian market just a few years ago, after saying it detected the feed additive ractopamine, which is prohibited in Russia. Brazil has denied its products contain the additive.

Russian imports of beef fell from 516,000 tonnes in 2017 to an estimated 470,000 tonnes in 2019, while pork imports collapsed from 375,000 tonnes in 2017 to a forecast 40,000 tonnes for 2019.

The growth in production comes at a time where domestic consumption remains relatively unchanged due to high prices and waning purchasing power; however, local producers continue to increase output because of good producer prices and their ability to earn income due to import bans. Gro Intelligence subscribers can access and analyze livestock markets and stay current with new developments.

Russia’s domestic production of pork and beef is starting to grow (left chart), and an import ban on Brazilian products due to feed-additive concerns has significantly decreased Russia’s imports (right chart).
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