Russian beef ‘cluster’ will launch exports to Asia and the UAE in 2015

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

“Work on promoting domestic beef to foreign markets has been conducted for over a year"
“Work on promoting domestic beef to foreign markets has been conducted for over a year"

Related tags Beef European union

In 2015, Russia will make its first deliveries of beef abroad from Europe’s largest cluster of cattle, being reared in the Bryansk and Kaliningrad Oblasts, according to a spokesperson for the project.

The production capacity of the cluster, which covers 43 farms and belongs to Russian meat giant Miratorg, amounts to 130,000 tonnes (t) of beef per year, with the total cattle population currently standing at 300,000 head. Once all production units have finally been commissioned, this should rise to 500,000 head.

“Work on promoting domestic beef to foreign markets has been conducted in conjunction with Russian veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor for over a year. The first possible export markets for supplies are China, South Korea, Japan and the UAE,”​ said Miratorg’s CEO Viktor Linnik.

“Technically and technologically, we are ready to supply our products [for export]. There is just the issue of removing barriers – not only for products of Miratorg, but for Russian beef producers in general,”​ he stated. “I hope we will be able to start exporting beef products within three to five months, and we are currently sparing no efforts to achieve this. In terms of quality, safety and price we are already quite competitive in the global market.”

A spokesperson for the project said plans were to export about 10% of the cluster’s total products – mainly the most expensive cuts. The remaining 90% will be sold in Russia at affordable prices, said Miratorg’s management. The company already has experience in exporting its products to Asia, as in 2014 it supplied 10,000t of pork to the region’s markets – primarily to Hong Kong.

This year Miratorg intends to export 15,000t of pork products with a number of pork by-products supplied to the European Union (EU) for onward use in pharmaceutical industry.

“As for beef, before the end of the year we expect to export about 3,000t,”​ added Linnik. “But the final volumes, of course, depend on how quickly the issues can be resolved with Rosselkhoznadzor.”​ Meanwhile, according to the company’s official plans, this year the cluster should produce 50,000t of beef, including 4,000t of expensive cuts.

In future the beef plant may also launch exports of beef products to the EU, as it has large pasture areas that are not in use.

Miratorg, together with the Rosselkhoznadzor, has already agreed veterinary certificates for the export of cattle hides from its cluster to South Africa. In 2016, the company plans to build a factory for the primary processing of hides which, said the spokesperson, would give greater profitability to the whole project.

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