Brazil has imported a record volume of pork in Ukraine during the first five months of 2012, leaving the local Ukrainian producers with a fall in profitability. They fear a continuation of the trend.
In the first five months of 2012, Ukraine imported 63,640 tonnes of pork, which is 3.3 times higher than in the same period of 2011. The average price of imported pork was about $2.40/kg, which is by 18% higher than in the same timeframe last year ($2.03/kg). A significant share of total imports supplies was frozen pork products.
In May, pork imports reached record levels in recent years – 20,600 tons, five times higher than in May 2011. The import increase was a result of higher imports from Brazil. This country provided 60% of the total pork import growth to Ukraine in 2012.
In the middle of July, the state veterinary and phytosanitary service of Ukraine (Gosvetfitosluzhboy) will grant permission to two other Brazilian companies to import pork. Ukrainian farmers fear this step will lead to another significant increase of cheap pork imports from this country.
Nikolai Vernitsky, director of information of ProAgro said that the import growth is not related to a lack of raw meat on the domestic market. “While the imported meat is cheaper, it will be imported in any way, even if the domestic supply will be sufficient. The problem is not even in the backwardness of technology equipment in the Ukrainian livestock industry, because currently even the Ukrainian high-tech companies complain about the drop in profitability. The problem is in the current economic conditions as livestock production is very expensive. This means Ukrainian pork products are simply more expensive than the imported products. So consumer prefer to buy the Brazilian pork.”
(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)