Russia increasing imports of beef

Consumption of beef has declined in recent years.

The number of cattle in Russia is declining, but beef production is still increasing. According to EMEAT agency data, Russia's domestic beef production from January to October 2017 amounted to 425,700 tons in slaughter weight (746,800 tons in live weight), which is 0.8% (3,300 tons) more than was produced during the same period in 2016.

Despite the increase in production, however, beef imports to Russia also continue to grow. The total volume of beef and byproducts imported into Russia from countries outside the Eurasian Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kirgizstan and Russia) amounted to 258,100 tons for January to October 2017. Beef shipments increased by 7.0% (16,900 tons) compared to the same period in 2016.

The main suppliers of chilled beef to Russia were Argentina (24.5%) and Serbia (22.8%), and the main suppliers of frozen beef were Brazil (59.4%) and Paraguay (28.6%), EMEAT said.

Belarus accounted for 98.8% of all chilled beef shipments to Russia for the given period. EMEAT said Belarus also remains one of the key suppliers of frozen beef, following Brazil and Paraguay, with its share of Russia's total frozen beef imports at 13.4%.

The agency said it is also worth noting that the consumption of beef in Russia has declined in recent years. Beef consumption amounted to 14.1 kg per capita by the end of 2016, which is 5% lower than in 2015.

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