In the first nine months of 2015, Russian imports hit a new low: imports of pork product totalled approximately 212,000 tonnes (t), recording a year-on-year fall of 22%, according to data from the UK’s pork levy board AHDB Pork.
Trade restrictions imposed on Russia by the EU, the US and Canada hit the country’s imports of pork hard, and the country has been forced to rely on allies further afield to supply demand.
Enter Brazil, which has asserted itself as the dominant supplier of pork in Russia, with imports increasing by 38% year-on-year. This, according to AHDB Pork’s analyst Stephen Howarth, took Brazil’s market share of pork in Russia to three-quarters, demonstrating “a large increase on the 42% it had this time last year, and 22% two years before that”.
Despite the poor showing in the first nine months of 2015, Howarth noted that pork imports back in Russia are “ahead” in the final quarter of the year. Imports of pork in Russia grew by 15% in the final quarter. “This was the largest quarterly volume since the beginning of 2014, when the first ban on EU pork was introduced,” added Howarth.
In roubles, Russia’s currency, unit prices of pork are currently 39% higher than they were in 2014.
The average unit price in the third quarter of 2015 stood at RUB208 ($2.90) per kg, and in the first nine months in 2015, imports of pork were valued at approximately RUB40.7bn ($576m).