The Russian Agricultural Ministry has published a draft decree under which poultry and egg exports from the country will be banned for the next 6 months in order to bring price relief to the domestic market.
The measure was rolled out shortly following a government meeting where Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the economic rationale behind a 27% rise in retail poultry prices in the country in the past few months.
In an explanatory note to the decree, the Ministry stated that the price hikes were primarily associated with a drop in production performance in the last several months and a rise in production costs in the background of the weak Russian rouble’s exchange rate.
Russian independent analysts attributed price turbulence in the poultry market primarily to a series of avian affluenza outbreaks registered in the country this year.
“The current situation contributes to the excessive attractiveness of the export of these products [poultry and eggs] compared to supplies to the domestic market, which creates a threat to the food security of Russia,” the Ministry said.
During the meeting, Putin suggested the Russian government should interfere to take the price situation under control, including through imports from neighboring countries. In response, Dmitry Patrushev, Russian Agricultural Minster, said that the country had already started purchasing poultry in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
However, this year’s Russian currency devaluation has not triggered any growth in poultry exports.
During the first half of 2023, Russia exported 148,000 tonnes of poultry, which is 7% lower compared with the previous year. Roughly 78,000 tonnes landed in China, 30,000 tonnes in Saudi Arabia, 6,000 tonnes in Azerbaijan and similar volumes in Vietnam and Uzbekistan, Kommersant, a Russian business newspaper reported, citing official data.
Russian egg exports stood at 570 million pieces against the total production of 46.1 billion, Rosptitsesoyuz, Russian union of poultry farmers, estimated.
Russian poultry farmers have not commented on government plans to ban poultry exports. Galina Bobyleva, general director of Rosptitsesoyuz, however, denied any shortage on the domestic market.
“Today, there are no problems regarding poultry products in the food market, and there cannot be. Poultry farmers have all the capabilities and reserves to meet the needs of our population,” Bobyleva told local state news outlet Ria Novosti.