Private plots generate 48 percent of cattle, 43 percent of swine and 54 percent of sheep and goats in Russia. The Russian government recently approved a new program that will succeed the National Priority Project in agriculture (NPP) titled, “TheState Program for Development of Agriculture and Regulation of Food and Agricultural Markets in 2008-2012,” that encourages pork and beef production and attempts to address Russia’s declining cattle numbers. This program includes import-substitution policies designed to stimulate domestic livestock production and to protect local producers.
In the beginning of 2007, the economic environment for swine production was generally unfavorable. The average production cost was RUR40-45/kilo of live weight, while the farm gate price was RUR40/kilo live weight. Pork producers have been expressing concern for years about sales after implementation of the NPP as pork consumption is growing at a slower rate than pork production. As a result, the pork sector has been lobbying the Russian government to regulate imports in spite of the meat TRQ agreement.
From January-September 2007, 1.38 million metric tons (MMT) of red meat was imported. A 12-year decline in beef production has resulted in limited beef availability in the Russian market leading to a spike in prices. In response, the Russian government has been force to take steps to increase the availability of beef by lifting a meat ban on Poland and by looking to Latin America for higher volumes of product. Feed stocks decreased during the first 11 months of 2007 compared to the previous year which will likely create even greater financial problems for livestock operations in 2008 as feed prices continue to skyrocket. Grain prices increased rapidly in Russia through the middle of July 2007 before stabilizing at high levels as harvest progress reports were released.
The Russian pig crop is expected to increase by 6 percent in 2008, while cattle herds are predicted to decrease by 3.5 percent. Some meat market analysts predict that by 2012, as new and modernized pig farming complexes reach planned capacity, pork production could reach 3.5 MMT – up 75 percent from 2008 estimates.
According to the Russian Statistics Agency (Rosstat), 1/3 of all Russian “large farms” are unprofitable. Many of these are involved in livestock production. Small, inefficient producers are uncompetitive and have already begun disappearing from the market.
The Russian veterinary service continues to playa decisive role in meat import supply management.
Source – http://www.cattlenetwork.com