Cheese Market Continues to Grow in Russia

RUSSIA - The Russian cheese market keeps growing with volumes, including goods from Belarus, showing a rise of 20 per cent, writes Alla Barinova, Moscow Office Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
calendar icon 7 February 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

According to analysts, the segment of cheese made in Russia can grow only at the expense of the protectionist policy of the state.

To support Russian manufacturers, cheese customs duties were increased last year. While a regressive scale was previously in effect (the duty amount reduced as the product price grew), a flat rate in the amount of 15 per cent of the cheese customs value but not less than 0.5 euro per 1 kg was introduced.

It is difficult for Russian cheese products to compete with imports in terms of the price to quality ratio. According to Intesco Research Group, the cheese market, including products from Belarus stood at 763,000 tonnes in 2010. The market showed growth of seven per cent while domestic production increased by just two per cent. As a result, the market share of imported cheese reached an all time high of 46 per cent.

According to analysts, Russian buyers prefer hard-pressed cheese, 41 per cent of the population purchase this product most often – once or twice a week on the average.

Over 30 countries exported cheese to Russia in January-November, 2011. According to Intesco Research Group, Belarus, Germany, Ukraine and Finland were the main suppliers. Belarus was the key importer of dairy products into Russia. Production costs in Belarus are much lower, and it is difficult for other suppliers to compete with them.

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