Pig numbers falling in Russia
Although the level of meat production in Russia is steadily increasing the number of cattle and pigs are falling.
By Evegen Vorotnikov
Most of the local farmers are feeling the economic pinch and are deciding to reduce their herds and sending them to slaughter.
According to the Russian Institute of Agricultural Marketing, the number of cattle in the country in 2008 fell by 10%, and currently continues to decline. The reduction of breeding herd is also observed.
After the implementation of meat import restrictions, the volume of imports to Russia has significantly declined. But the reduction in imports could not revive the Russian meat production.
According to sources in the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, the supply of beef on smuggling schemes, as well as the import through the CIS countries resulted in lower prices in the domestic market and made the financial struggles of the local farmers less.
"Russia has no more internal resources to revive its herd, thus having to buy young stock abroad. The cattle slaughtered come due to financial struggles of nearly 85% of Russian farming households,” analysts say.
Another reason is poor grain yield (no more than 67.2 million tonnes this year), resulting in a sharp rise of feed prices.
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