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Duck meat drives up Russian poultry exports

In 2019, Russia is expected to have exported as much as 250,000 tonnes of poultry meat, a 40% rise compared to the previous year. This is forecast of Sergey Lakhtyukhov, general director of the Russian Union of Poultry Producers.

His explanation for part of the growth concerns duck meat. “Duck meat has the strongest export potential in the Russian poultry industry,” Lakhtyukhov said. Duck meat is a premium product in countries such as the Arab Peninsula as well as in Asia, and specifically in China. Lakhtyukhov added: “All those countries were expressing interest in importing duck meat from Russia.”

Duck meat is a premium product in the countries of the Arab Peninsula as well as in Asia, and specifically in China. Photo: Hans Prinsen
Duck meat is a premium product in the countries of the Arab Peninsula as well as in Asia, and specifically in China. Photo: Hans Prinsen

Russia’s poultry exports

This year, Russia signed a trade agreement with China to export poultry meat to that country. The Russian Agricultural Ministry forecasted earlier that Russia’s 2019 poultry exports to China would be in the region of US$ 100 million. During the past few years Russia has been steadily increasing poultry exports from 100,000 tonnes in 2017 to 183,000 tonnes in 2018.

Andrey Dalnov, senior analyst of the Russian biggest meat producer Cherkizovo, told the Russian newspaper Agroinvestor that Russia would be able to export 45,000 to 50,000 tonnes of poultry meat to China this year. Dalnov continues. “In the coming years the export is likely to grow up to 150,000 tonnes per year, including on some by-products like chicken feet, which are commonly considered as waste in Russia, but in demand in Asia.” So far, Russian companies have been exporting primarily broiler and turkey meat.

Duck meat has the strongest export potential in the Russian poultry industry,” – Sergey Lakhtyukhov, general director of the Russian Union of Poultry Producers.

Duck meat in the pipeline?

Several Russian duck meat producers said they were going to focus more on duck meat exports for example:

  • Novosibirsk-based poultry farm Ulibino said it was planning to launch duck meat production facilities in December of 2019. Early next year the company is expected to begin sales in markets outside Siberia and in the summer of 2020 exports to China. Ulibino said that the investment cost of the duck farm was Rub4.2 billion ($ 80 million). The company wants to reach the full designed production capacity performance of 18,000 tonnes per year by 2023.
  • Russian agricultural holding Rysskoe Pole has also unveiled plans to re-equip one of its broiler farms to breed ducks. The company set the target to produce 18,000 tonnes of duck meat per year, but so far have not shared any further details on the project. The overall demand for duck meat in Russia is estimated at 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes per year.

Duck in short supply

Russian duck meat market is in short supply, since the bankruptcy of Donstar – the biggest producer of this type of meat in the country. Donstar turned out 27,000 tonnes of duck meat in 2017 and around 19,000 tonnes in 2018, but accumulated huge debts and was unable to continue operation in 2019. The regional authorities in Rostov Oblast reported that there were negotiations to put Donstar back into operation. Victor Goncharov, governor of Rostov Oblast, said that the former management of the company was seeking new bank loans to resume production.