With companies focusing on lucrative export markets, the Russian government is considering measures to ban export of certain food products. Their aim is to ensure domestic supply and prevent turbulence on the domestic market because of the new coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov said.
With the exception of a few categories there is no need to introduce that kind of measures right away, Belousov said, adding that the authorities are monitoring the situation on the market. Speaking at the same meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the government to act “in advance” and introduce all necessary measures timely. Putin added that Russia is not bypassed by the new coronavirus, since “viruses know no borders between countries”.
Russian consumers are buying poultry products in big quantities, putting stress on the domestic supply chain. Photo: Fabian Brockotter
Earlier, Russian government banned export of some health care products and drugs from the country. Currently there are fears that meat and poultry could be subjected to export restrictions. During the past few weeks, poultry was one of the main targets of panic buying. In many supermarkets shelves were left empty. “Retail companies are buying products to distribute them across sales points and are regularly restocking inventories. If all supplies are stopped, the existing stocks would last for a few weeks. This means that the companies have time to secure additional supplies of some products, such as poultry meat,” said Ilya Vlasenko, spokesperson for the Russian Association of Retail Companies. Giving the nervous situation several Russian poultry companies, for example Damate announced that they would freeze poultry prices on the domestic market until the crisis is over.
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Export on the rise
Russia exported 15,600 tonnes of poultry for $ 27.7 million in January of 2020, increasing supplies by 8,500 tonnes and $ 20.6 million as compared to the same period of the previous year, Russian Federal Customs Service said. This year, Russia could beat the record of poultry export, selling 250,000 tonnes of poultry to the foreign markets, Russian Union of Poultry Producers forecasted. In 2019, Russian was greenlit to export poultry to China and in 2020 the new most promising direction are African countries, according to the Russian Union of Poultry Producers.
Russian begun exporting poultry to China via railway, the Russian Export Center said in a statement March 17. This is important because it prevents product storage at sea ports. All inspection measures could be carried out at the point of final destination, the Export Center added. With this measure Russia could continue export to China, which was caught in logistic jam because of the problems in the Chinese sea ports during the past few months.
Several Russian companies disclosed their plans to expand exports this year. For example, the Russian biggest meat producer Cherkizovo has recently begun exporting poultry to UAE. The company said that in the future it is planning to expand its presence in the Gulf countries.