"We have increased exports of poultry meat and seafood to Russia by 447% during the first nine months of this year and we forecast further growth," said the minister. He added that this figure increased Russia’s share of Turkey’s total exports.
Official statistics suggest Turkey is enjoying the best growth indicators in terms of meat product supply to the Russian market in the second half of the year.
According to the Turkish Poultry Association, exports of poultry meat to Russia amounted to 550 tonnes (t) in July, 2,300t in August, 5,900t in September and 5,700t in October.
Total exports for January-November 2014 amounted to about 17,000t, while during the same period of 2013 they amounted to only 4,000t. Industry experts estimate that, with the current pace of export growth, Turkey can supply the Russian market with about 30,000t of poultry products this year.
"Turkey is well positioned for further growth in supply. Largely due to it geographical position, the logistical cost of exports to Russia is very low and the products are very competitive on price in the Russian market. Turkey also supplies products to southern Russia, which also includes the Crimea, where, according to reports, shortages of meat have been observed," commented Russian agricultural analyst Eugene Gerden.
Earlier, Russia completely banned supplies of meat from Ukraine to Crimea. This triggered a temporary shortage of meat in the region, which has a population of two million. In recent months, this shortage is believed to have been largely covered by meat imports. Representatives of Russian veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor had previously announced that they were seeking to maximise exports of meat from Turkey.
"Rosselkhoznadzor is going to make every possible effort to facilitate the passing of goods from Turkey into Russian ports," said veterinary body spokesperson Julia Trofimova. She added that meat shipments from Turkey were heading primarily into the port of Novorossiysk, in the south of Russia.
At the same time, representatives from Rosselkhoznadzor expressed concerns that Turkey could re-export banned meat from the European Union (EU). According to information from the Russian veterinary body, Turkey’s ambassador in Poland, Yusuf Ziya Özcan, officially offered local meat producers there, including pork businesses, the opportunity to establish re-exports of meat products following the Russian embargo. However, the Russian veterinary body has made no official complaints about products from Turkey.