Miratorg rapidly expands beef exports

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Miratorg rapidly expands beef exports
Russian agricultural holding Miratorg has established beef exports to 15 countries, primarily to the Middle East and Asia.

Dmitry Sergeev, press secretary of Miratorg, told GlobalMeatNews the strategic aim was to export 20% of all meat products released by the company, including beef. The designed production performance of Miratorg’s beef cluster in Central Russia is 400,000 heads or from 130,000 tonnes (t) to 150,000t of beef per year and it should be reached in 2020.

In particular, Miratorg has already won approval to export beef to Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Egypt, Iran, Cambodia, Morocco, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Lebanon, according to Sergeev. In Europe, the company is allowed to export beef to Serbia.

“In most of these countries, export supplies are already taking place. For some of them, we are in the final stage of the process ​[to begin deliveries], solving technical issues,”​ he said.

Miratorg has not disclosed some of its beef export achievements, according to Sergeev. However, in general, he said, the company’s beef exports were growing in “all product categories”​.

In 2017, Miratorg became the largest beef producer in Russia, releasing around 80,000t, the company revealed earlier. It plans to increase this figure to 100,000t in 2018.

High-ranking lobby

Speaking during the All-Russia Forum of Agricultural Producers on 12 March, Miratorg president Viktor Linnik revealed it was relatively hard for the company to obtain access to certain important export markets. In particular, Miratorg, with support of Russian veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor, struggled for three years to initiate exports of beef to Saudi Arabia.

Access was eventually granted, but only after the intervention of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally questioned Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about the issue during their meeting in 2017, according to Linnik.

Speaking to Putin during the forum, Linnik also admitted that another important market – China – was still closed to Miratorg. He expressed hope, however, that some progress in negotiations with this country would be achieved during 2018.

Miratorg said it planned to keep expanding the list of export destinations for its beef over the next few years. Linnik emphasised that, despite the progress achieved in 2017, the company was still “at the beginning of its journey”​ in this regard.

Different tastes

Basically, there is no difference between the quality and safety of products supplied to foreign customers and those sold on the domestic Russian market, according to Sergeev. However, there is some difference in the range of products supplied, due to tastes for different beef cuts in some regions of the world.

In particular, beef by-products were found to be more popular in the Asian markets, while picanha cuts were believed to be more popular in Brazil, Sergeev stressed. Given this, he added, the company needed to be flexible to meet the needs of its clients around the globe.

“The company’s modern slaughter and processing plants enable us to release products with different specifications, not only for a particular country, but also for a particular client,”​ Sergeev added.

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