Ukraine eyes meat export growth in Middle East, Asia

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ukraine wants to boost beef exports to 50,000t within three years
Ukraine wants to boost beef exports to 50,000t within three years

Related tags: Ukraine, International trade, Middle east, Meat, Beef, Pork, Poultry

Ukraine expects to double poultry meat exports by 2018 and boost export growth for other meats off the back of increased trade with the Middle East and South-East Asia.

"Under favorable conditions, Ukraine in the next three years will be able to increase the export of poultry meat to 350,000 tonnes (t),"​ said Sergey Karpenko, head of the country’s Association of Poultry Farmers. “We should focus on the opening of the new markets, including Saudi Arabia, China, Japan and South Africa.” 

According to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, last year Ukraine exported 218,000t of meat, including 175,000t of poultry, 28,000t of beef and 11,000t of pork. This year, the ministry forecast was for meat exports to grow by 19.3% year-on-year to 260,000t, including 215,000t of poultry, 30,000t of beef and 15,000t of pork. By 2017, meat export volumes are expected to increase to 450,000t. 

“Ukraine covered the loss of the Russian market, with the increase of export to the EU and expansion of supplies to the number of already opened destinations, such as for example Iraq,"​ added Karpenko. “In 2013, Russia imported 35,000t of Ukraine pork, in 2014 – only 8,000t, while this year it was 350t.” 

Export to Russia

According to Ukraine’s agricultural minister Alexei Pavlenko, the volume of agricultural export to Russia this year stands at the record lows ever. At the same time, in recent months Ukraine has signed a number of important agreements in the area of export supplies, including for the supplies of 12,000t of poultry per year to Egypt and for export of some poultry production to Israel. 

At the same time, the situation regarding exports of other meat products is more complicated. During the first half of 2015 Ukraine exported 18,620t of pork, a sevenfold increase compared with the same period last year. Thus, the volume of pork exports has already exceeded government forecasts.

However, Russia accounts for 93% of all exports, with the largest regional importers being Crimea and Sevastopol. Ukraine’s experts previously estimated that the volume of pork export from the country may reach 50,000t – 60,000t by 2018, but these plans may be ruined by the epidemic of African swine fever (ASF) which is raging in the country. 

Beef export

The prospects of beef export increases are also questionable. The Ukrainian government aims to bring it to 50,000t within the coming three years, but beef production in Ukraine is expected to drop by 6-8%, as the state has significantly cut the size of the industry support. However, beef producers this year are preparing to launch test export supplies to some Middle East countries, in particular Iran. 

Ukraine has also staked some hopes on the Free Trade Zone with the EU, set to be established since January 1, 2016. It is expected that it may benefit poultry producers, while the prospects for Ukraine pork and beef in the European market also remain questionable.

Related topics: Meat

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