Russian pork export to China still needs to take off

Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

Russia expects to export 30,000 to 35,000 tonnes of pork to China this year. However, the deliveries primarily consist of various by-products, as a long list of pork cuts are still not allowed to be supplied, the Russian National Meat Association reported.

Russian pig farmers improve their outlook for pork exports to China in 2024. In April, Yuri Kovalev, chairman of the Russian Union of Pork Producers (RUPP), claimed that “if 15,000 to 25,000 tonnes of pork land on the Chinese market by the end of the year, it will be a good start.”

If the new projection materialises, China will account for 15% of the Russian pork exports this year, Sergey Yushin, chairman of the Russian National Meat Association estimated.

Focus on by-products

However, the trade is not without its challenges for the Russian side. Currently, only 3 Russian companies—Miratorg, Velikolukskiy Meat Processing plant, and RusAgro — have been granted permission to export pork production to China, and the list of items approved for delivery is relatively limited.

Yushin emphasised the significant challenge at hand, stating that it is crucial to demonstrate to China “that Russia can supply pork that fully meets its stringent requirements”. During an industry conference in Moscow in April, Kovalev disclosed that China was primarily interested in importing by-products traditional for the local market: legs, tails, ears, snouts, and tracheas. RUPP hopes that the structure of exports will change in the future, so at least 50% will come from various cuts of meat and 50% from by-products.

Negotiations ongoing

Yushin also unveiled that a Russian trade mission has recently held negotiations with the Chinese business community and regulators during which it emphasised the need to expand the list of items approved for the delivery. He also described the trade mission as successful, though it is not clear whether it secured any concrete results.

During the April conference, Sun Yongli, Chairman of the Board of Bejing Hopewise International Trading, promised that this year, the company will purchase around 10,000 tonnes of Russian pork for the Chinese market, assuming that the trade will gradually grow in the future. He also unveiled that only a limited number of Chinese companies have complete information about the Russian pig industry’s production capacities and technological level.

Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern Europe correspondent
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