Slow Start to 2012 Russian Beef Imports

RUSSIA - Russian beef imports slowed in the first four months of 2012, with figures for January to April showing a 12 per cent year-on-year decrease in total imports, totalling 150,100 tonnes (GTA).
calendar icon 26 June 2012
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The import market remains dominated by frozen product, accounting for 93 per cent of imports during the period. Contributing to the slow start to the year has been a depreciation of the Russian currency, which has increased the cost of importing beef into Russia.

Market share remains dominated by Brazil, with imports from Brazil accounting for 42 per cent of total imports, compared to 37 per cent in 2011. Although gaining market share, the volume of product imported from Brazil fell slightly, down one per cent year-on-year. The growth in market share comes as overall volumes imported decreased. After being partially banned from the Russian market in June 2011, a depreciation of the Brazilian real has enabled Brazil to improve their competitive position in the Russian market.

Although Brazil has dominated the market in early 2012, Paraguay (14 per cent), Uruguay (13 per cent), Mexico (six per cent), USA (six per cent) and Australia (five per cent) all have significant market shares.

Accounting for the decrease in overall imports in 2012 has been significant decline in volumes from Australia, down 65 per cent to 7,881 tonnes, and Uruguay, down 18 per cent to 19,243 tonnes. Conversely, imports from Mexico and the US increased two fold, to 9,044 tonnes and 8,708 tonnes respectively, with imports from Paraguay also up 40 per cent, to 21,322 tonnes.

Imports from Australia have slowed year-on-year, with Australian manufacturing exports largely directed to the US in 2012.

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