Russia resumes pork and beef imports from Brazil

09-12-2021 | |
Pork can be on the way from Brazil to Russia again. - Photo: Dreamstime
Pork can be on the way from Brazil to Russia again. - Photo: Dreamstime

Russia resumed the import of beef and pork from 12 Brazilian units in late November 2021, Brazil’s health security regulator reported.

Most of the restrictions on Brazilian beef and pork had been in place since 2017. The reason was related to allegations of ractopamine usage for animal feeding, which Brazilian groups in the meat industry denied.

9 Pork facilities allowed to resume exports

In October 2021, Russia had already allowed the resuming of beef imports from 3 major Brazilian exporters. The new release, late November, applied to another 12 facilities, 9 for pork and 3 for beef.

The Russian department Rosselkhoznadzor did not reveal which units received the new status. The Russian watchdog on sanitary topics stated, “Rosselkhoznadzor continues to work on expanding the list of Brazilian producers certified to supply beef and pork to Russia.”

The announcement comes after Brazilian Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina met in the Russian capital Moscow with Sergey Dankvert, the head of Rosselkhoznadzor. During the meeting, he also guaranteed the realisation of an inspection visit to Brazil in the 1st quarter of 2022, aimed at qualifying new Brazilian meatpacking plants for exports.

Russia: A huge market for pork exports

Russia had been one of Brazil’s biggest markets for pork for years until 2017. After 4 years of silence, they are now planning a duty-free import quota up to 200,000 tonnes of beef and 100,000 tonnes for pork in 2022 in order to increase supplies in supermarkets.

The current tariff by the Russians is 15% on imports until 530,000 tonnes of Brazilian meat. That is part of Moscow’s measures, aiming to stabilise domestic inflation, which has never been so high in the last 5 years.

For Brazil, the world’s 3rd largest pork exporter, Russia is a promising market. In 2017, before the restrictions, the country was responsible for 43% of the entire Brazilian pork exports that year.

Pork exports to other global destinations

Previously, that number was even bigger, above 60%, even 70%, of Brazilian pig exports. Currently, the main importer is China. According to Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), China imported 481,900 tonnes between January and October, which comes down to practically half of the total amount.

In 2021, pork sales have already been approaching 1 million tonnes. Between January and October, 967,900 tonnes were shipped, a volume which is 13.4% bigger than that was registered in the first 10 months of 2020, with 853,400 tonnes.

Other import destinations are Chile, with 52,500 tonnes (+56.5%), Japan, with 11,300 tonnes (+19.1%) and the USA, with 9,700 tonnes (+43.4%).

Daniel Azevedo Freelance journalist Brazil