DENMARK, Kopenhagen. Russia has gone from being a major global importer of pork to a globally significant exporter. The Danish Agriculture & Food Council (L&F) reported that Russian pork exports increased by 92 720 t, or 86.0%, to 200 580 t last year compared to 2019.
In the year under review, exports to Vietnam in particular picked up mightily, increasing almost fivefold to 63 470 t. The Asian country had been struggling to recover from the export crisis. The Asian country had an increased need for imports after the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF). It is noteworthy that Russian exports there grew mainly through chilled and frozen pork; this commodity item accounted for a good three quarters of total exports.
Hong Kong ranked second on the Russian customer list. The quantity sold there increased by 77.1% to 47 650 t and consisted mostly of edible offal. In addition, Russian pork exporters were able to increase their sales by a good third each to 40 910 t in Ukraine and 19 000 t in Belarus. There were also very strong increases in Kazakhstan and Mongolia; however, the tonnages concerned were not very large at 4 600 t and 3 700 t respectively.
Russian pork imports, which exceeded 1 million tonnes eight years ago, hardly played a role in 2020. Only 11 330 t were imported, which was almost 90 % less than in the previous year. The largest third-country supplier was Chile with 4 920 t, of which a good half consisted of bacon. Brazil, which still sold around 41 000 t of pork to Russia in 2019, supplied only 422 t of frozen pork last year. Veterinary disputes with Russia and more lucrative sales opportunities in China caused the flow of goods to dry up almost completely.