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Russian poultry production and exports are down in 2021

In the first half of 2021, Russian poultry production declined by 2.44% compared to the same period last year, primarily due to avian influenza outbreaks in the country in the beginning of the year.

This is according to estimates by Sergey Lakhtyuknov, general director of the Russian National Union of Poultry Producers.

Rising feed costs are just one of the factors causing an upward trend in Russian poultry production costs. Photo: Hans Banus
Rising feed costs are just one of the factors causing an upward trend in Russian poultry production costs. Photo: Hans Banus

In early 2021, Russian poultry production dropped by 6.2%, which is the strongest decline over the past decade. According to Lakhtyuknov, the production slump was caused by numerous factors, including the avian influenza epidemic and an unprecedented hike in production costs. On a positive note, Lakhtyuknov sees a slight recovery: “We are in an upward trend now looking at the end of the year and we anticipate a rise in domestic production.”

Export down

In the first half of 2021, Russia exported 132,000 tonnes of poultry – 6.6% down compared to the same period in 2020, the Russian government estimated. In monetary terms, export dropped by 7.2% to US$ 202 million. The main factor driving exports down is a decrease in poultry exports to China, which dropped by 22% to US$ 101 million in the first half of 2021, the government said in a statement.

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As explained by Sergey Yushin, chairman of the Russian National Meat Association, the first 6 months of 2021 were marked by a strong decline in prices for pork in China, which also drove local poultry prices down. Yushin said that this factor had cut the production range exported from Russia to China, hence the drop in exports. On the other hand, in Brazil, the main Russian competitor in the Far East, prices increased by 40%, which made Russian products more competitive, Yushin said, adding that this makes export a promising direction for Russian companies.

“In 2021, the prices are projected to rise by 20-22% above last year’s level.”

Prices keep rising

Rising production costs keep pushing poultry prices up in Russia, a research conducted by the Russian Plekhanov’s economic university showed. In 2021, the prices are projected to rise by 20-22% above last year’s level, even though the price hike will differ between the Russian regions, the scientists said. The rise in prices for poultry is a global trend, which is linked to growing demand in southeast Asia. On the other hand, Russian poultry farmers have to change price tags on their products due to a continuous increase in production costs, the scientists claimed. In addition to grain and feed, the costs of electricity, fuel, and logistics have been rising, the scientists added.