"Overall in 2013, Germany supplied about 36,000t of pork to Ukraine. In 2014 Ukraine will import only about 29,000t," commented project manager of German Meat Elizabeth Gorelysheva.
Experts have recently noted that the devaluation of Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvnia, against the euro has made the supply of meat to Ukraine almost completely unprofitable.
"Ukraine’s meat market has been and remains very interesting for German suppliers, but at the same time a number of factors have significantly complicated any increase in supplies – in particular, the devaluation of the hryvnia," she added.
German exporters have also complained about the number of administrative barriers imposed on them, which also negatively affect export supplies.
"A number of legal issues also complicate meat imports into Ukraine - in particular the rules concerning veterinary certificates," added Gorelysheva.
Official statistics indicate that all these factors have affected not only exports of German meat to Ukraine, but also overall meat imports to the country.
According to a report from Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service, in January-September 2014, pork imports to Ukraine dropped by 4.2 times – to 26,185t. In value terms, imports amounted to US$68 million, which is four times lower year-on-year.
Nicola Larin, project manager of foreign economic activity at Ukraine’s Association of Importers and Exporters, said the total imports of meat and meat products in Ukraine this year have already dropped by 37%. Based on current trends, Larin noted, it was safe to say the volume of meat imports to the Ukrainian market could drop by another 10% by the end of the year.
"Given the fact that the armed conflict is taking place, plus [the fall in the country’s] currency, plus the [influence of] corruption, imports will continue to fall, as there are no prerequisites for any slowdown in the decline," Larin added.
According to official information from the country’s statistics bureau, in 2013 the largest exporters of pork to Ukraine were Brazil, Germany and the USA. Experts say the fall of pork imports is connected, to some extent, with the restrictive measures imposed by the country’s veterinary watchdog, Gosvetfitosluzhba, during the year.
In particular, in March this year, the veterinary body limited the pork imports from Brazil, due to violations of its veterinary legislation, while in July it restricted imports of pigs from Russia due to fears of the spread of African swine fever (ASF).
* German Meat unites about 40 German manufacturers at all stages of meat production, from those growing feed crops to livestock trade, slaughter and processing enterprises.