Kazakhstan sees dramatic surge in meat imports

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Kazakhstan sees dramatic surge in meat imports

Related tags Meat Import International trade

Kazakhstan has dramatically increased meat imports this year, according to newly released statistics from the country.

In January-February of this year Kazakhstan imported 3,700 tonnes (t) of fresh, frozen and chilled meat and processed products from Ukraine, at a total value of US$6.7m. This represents a volume 7.5 times higher than the same period in 2012, and a value 4.4 times bigger.

Excluding trade with the countries of the Customs Union, Kazakhstan imported 7,900t of meat (an increase of 42.4%) at a total value of US$15.1m. The largest suppliers of meat to Kazakhstan were the US, Ukraine, Paraguay, Poland, Belgium, Australia, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Uruguay.

Imports predicted to grow

Experts at the country’s Ministry of Agriculture claimed these figures were just the beginning of a trend of increasing meat supplies to Kazakhstan.

“With a steady growth in consumer purchasing power observed in recent years, Kazakhstan has become a very attractive market for foreign suppliers. Our producers have only just learned how to compete with Russian meat supplies, and now we have to learn how to fight with imports from third countries,”​ said a Ministry representative recently.

“It will be harder, because meat from the US and South America and even Ukraine is usually cheaper than domestic meat, so we must explore new ways of improving business efficiency to stay competitive on the global meat market.”

Industry support on the way

Auezhan Darin, president of the Union of Farmers of Kazakhstan, recently predicted that the increasing import trend will continue until at least 2015, when a state programme of long-term agricultural business development will come into effect, which will help domestic meat producers become more competitive.

“At present, [meat] importers are still winning. Last year they increased their market share, this year we will definitely import even more. But if, in 2013, the financial tools provided by the programme start working, then in 2013-2014, the trend towards meat import growth will slow, and by 2015-2017 we should learn how to compete successfully with [foreign suppliers],”​ said Darin.

Related topics Meat

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