Eurasian Economic Union to slash meat imports in 2017

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Eurasian Economic Union is hoping to increase local production of meat
The Eurasian Economic Union is hoping to increase local production of meat

Related tags: Meat, Beef, Livestock, Pork, Poultry

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) plans to cut meat imports from non-EEU states by nearly two thirds, according to deputy head of agricultural policy Anna Buts. 

Quotas for imports of meat to Russia in 2016 are currently set at 570,000 tonnes for beef, 430,000t pork and 364,000t poultry. Kazakhstan has quotas of 21,000t for beef, 140,000t poultry and zero quotas for pork. Belarus has 20,000t of pork, 10,900t poultry and zero quotas on beef. Other countries have zero quotas on the import of all meat from third countries.

Quotas are often not fully used, but Anna Buts’ decision will mean the new import target for five countries from non-EEU members is slightly more than 750,000t of meat, with 85% of all supplies still accounted for by Russia. A large part of the reduction should be accounted for by the redistribution of trade flows within the EEU, with a rise in production not expected to be high.

She noted that amid volatility within the global food market, with fluctuating production volumes and prices, the EEU would be encouraging an increase in local production capacities, processing and development of the supply chain and deepening cooperation among members of the EEU’s agricultural and food sectors.

Market participants noted that planned redistribution of trade flows will probably mean the rise of supplies of Russian poultry to Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, while these countries will get a chance to establish deliveries of beef and lamb to the Russian market, where there is currently a shortage of this type of meat.

Belarus is working to increase its pig population so that it can replace pork production from third countries in Russia.

However, not all participants of the meat market are happy about deepening of cooperation between members of the EEU meat market. In particular, Ruslan Sharipov, president of the Union of Poultry Farmers of Kazakhstan, has repeatedly accused Russian producers in recent years of dumping on the local market.

“If the government won’t take any serious actions to protect domestic poultry manufacturers, we will see cuts of staff at farms, as small and medium companies will have to dismiss up to 70%-80% of all employees. At bigger farms, this figure could be about 50%,”​ he said.

Related topics: Meat

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