Fears that more than half the Russian quotas on meat imports would stay unallotted have proved to be unfounded, according to consultancy firm Market Advice. Major importers have been eager to import meat since Russian quotas on meat imports took effect on 1 April 2003.
According to the country's Ministry for Economic Development, applications for beef imports were submitted by 340 companies, while over 400 companies applied for pork import quotas.
One of the major consequences of the introduction of quotas has been the increased volume of meat imports from the US. For example, most poultry meat this year will be imported from the US. In 2002, the share of US chicken meat in the Russian poultry market was about 60 per cent.
This year is the first time that quotas on meat imports have been adopted in Russia, and unsurprisingly, industry insiders have reported a number of imperfections in the quoting mechanism. As a result, since May only 70.6 per cent of beef quotas and 71.5 per cent of pork quotas have been distributed.
Poultry importers have proven to be most successful however - 74.5 per cent of poultry quotas have been distributed.