Opportunities for North American Pork Producers

by 5m Editor
11 February 2009, at 10:40am

CANADA - The president and CEO of Genesus Genetics is confident Russia will provide an excellent opportunity for North American pork exporters over the next three to four years, writes Bruce Cochrane.

With the fall of communism the Russian business model collapsed, farming operations when bankrupt, livestock was slaughtered and agricultural infrastructure was destroyed.

In 1992 all of the pork consumed in Russia was produced in the Soviet Union but today 30 per cent is imported, primarily from North America, the European Union and Brazil.

Genesus president and CEO Jim Long points out last year Russia was number four export market, it's a high priced opportunity for people to move all different types of products and they buy all types of cuts not just the cheap cuts.

Jim Long-Genesus Genetics

Right now chicken is increasing quite a bit, pork is expanding.

The Russian cattle inventory has decreased every year for the last 13 years.

They prefer pork.

A slaughter hog in Russia right now is about three dollars US a kilogram or 300 US dollars a market hog so the Russian pork domestically is almost triple what it is in Canada.

The importers are able to buy pork cheaper in Canada, they take it there, they pay tariffs or they arrange to get the pork across the border.

Most Russians we speak to believe that the Russian per capita consumption of pork will move to the European Union average which is 40 kilograms.

Our numbers are telling us that they're at about 17 to 19 kilograms.

To get to 40 kilograms times their population is another 60 million hogs a year.

Mr Long notes, while the Russians are planning on expanding pork production, the size of the infrastructure they will have to put in place is huge and it's going to take a number of years.

In the interim he's confident that market will hold and we'll have opportunities to export pork from North America and Canada to Russia.