Brazil looks set to benefit from Russia import ban

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Brazil is gearing up to increase its meat exports to Russia
Brazil is gearing up to increase its meat exports to Russia

Related tags Export International trade Meat Beef Pork Poultry

Brazil looks set to ramp up exports of meat to Russia after it imposed a 12-month ban on beef, pork and poultry imports from the US, EU, Canada, Norway and Australia last week.

The move came in retaliation to sanctions placed on Russia in response to its part in the current conflict with Ukraine.

Last week Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor held a number of talks with Latin American ambassadors from Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador, in light of the ban, in a bid to increase imports from these countries.

An additional 40 operations in Brazil – already a major exporter to Russia – have now been approved for export, according to the Russian government, and "there is a possibility of large-scale export of Argentinean beef, pork and poultry meat",​ added Rosselkhoznadzor.

Brazil is one of the largest exporters of poultry to Russia, and was the second-largest exporter of pork to Russia last year, with EU the number one and Canada the third-largest – both of which now face import bans. Brazil was also the largest supplier of beef to Russia in 2013, followed by Paraguay.

According to figures from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Brazil exported 303,000 tonnes (t) of fresh beef to Russia, and 134,000t of pork in 2013. In a statement it said that Rosselkhoznadzor had authorised the release of 87 Brazilian establishments for the export of "meat, offal meats, poultry, giblets, pigs and pig kids".

Neri Geller, minister of agriculture for Brazil, said: "Faced with this result, Brazil substantively expand its exports of meat and dairy products to the countries of the Customs Union, consolidating the partnership in international agribusiness and the relationships of trust and friendship between the two countries."

In an export update from the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries (Abiec), yesterday (12 August), it said that beef exports had grown 8.6% in July, to 144,700 tonnes, with Russia its largest buyer last month, and the second largest importer of Brazilian meat this year.

Russian agricultural minister Nikolai Fyodorov told journalists at a briefing last Thursday (7 August), that the government had met with Russian agricultural associations, and it was understood that it should be possible to produce an additional RUB281bn worth of agricultural products over the next 18 months.

While pork and poultry production is said to be developing at a good pace, Russia has said imports of these meats, as well as beef and offal will be sourced from other countries.

"We will replace imports from the EU, the USA and Canada with imports from our other partners. And we are going to do it not just for half a year or a year, but I think that we’ll be able to find long-term partners elsewhere – in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and so on,"​ added Fyodorov.

He said supplies of meat and meat products from the EU the USA, Canada and Australia could be substituted with supplies from Brazil, as well as from Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Belarus.

When asked what proportion of exports would be affected, Fyodorov said that imports of beef from the banned countries only amounted to 59,000t out of total of 2.3 million tonnes (mt) imported, while 450,000t of pork, out of a total of 3.4mt, and 338,000t out of a total 4.28mt would be affected.

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