Pork production is growing by 100,000 tonnes per month in Russia. The Russian pig industry is claiming its domestic production is booming and may reach 4.2 million (m) tonnes this year, up from 3.5m tonnes in 2016.
If these predictions are fulfilled, 2017 will be the strongest year for Russian pig meat production for the last 25 years.
According to a spokesman of the National Union for Pork Producers (NSS) the increase is due to new production investments coming online. Currently pork accounts for 33% of total meat consumption in Russia, compared to 49% for chicken and 16% for beef.
A national union analyst stressed that the Russian pig herd is sufficient to benefit from major economies of scale, being currently estimated at 21.5m.
He added that wholesale pork prices in Russia have declined this year, from RUB175 (USD2.95) to RUB148 (USD2.49) per kilogramme, which has boosted demand from domestic consumers.
According to data from Russia’s ministry of agriculture, annual demand for pork in Russia is currently estimated at 2.94m tonnes, almost entirely serviced by domestic production. Therefore, there will be significant amounts available for overseas exports.
Largest pork exporters
A ministry official said Russian pork production is currently growing at 100,000 tonnes per month on average. If this rate is maintained over the next few years, Russia will become one of the world’s largest pork exporters, with regular annual pork exports of up to 1 million tonnes.
Sergey Aredakov, director of Aredakov & Partners enterprise, a pork and poultry producer in Voronezh, central Russia said that such growth is realistic: “These figures may seem ambitious, but their achievement could be a reality. In comparison, total pork exports from the European Union states has amounted to 2m tonnes. So, the achievement of these export goals does not look unrealistic, if achieved over the next eight to 10 years.”
The growth comes as leading Russian pig producers have announced their plans for the expansion of domestic production. For example, Rusagro, Russia’s second largest pig meat producer, recently announced plans to expand production at its farm in the Primorye region in Pacific Russia. Vadim Moshkovich, chairman of Rusagro, said that after this expansion, the farm will have the capacity to produce 400,000 tonnes of pork per year. A significant part of future production will be exported to nearby China, where the demand for pork has significantly increased in recent years.