Moscow, Russia – 7 June 2019 – “Russia has huge pork production potential and can help China fill the shortage of this meat, in particular through joint pig farming projects,” Sergey Mikhailov, CEO of Cherkizovo Group, said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
In his speech at the Russia–China session, Sergey Mikhailov said that the permit to export poultry meat to China obtained in February 2019 was a key milestone for Russian companies. It is expected to help Russia hit the agricultural export target of USD 45 bn by 2024. May 2019 saw the Group export the first batch of 300 tonnes of its products to the country.
“Eventually, Russia may also become a major exporter of pork to China, as the latter – affected by African swine fever (ASF) – faces high demand for this meat,” Sergey Mikhailov added.
The PRC accounts for 50% of global pork consumption. However, ASF may slash China’s own pork production by 10–20%, according to different estimates. If Russian companies were authorized to export pork to China, this would help partially cover the potential deficit. “I do hope that we will reach a deal and Russian pork producers will gain access to the Chinese market. Russian companies are in a position to offer considerable volumes. We will be happy to welcome our Chinese partners in Russia and roll out joint pig farm projects fully focused on China’s market,” said the CEO of Cherkizovo.
According to Cherkizovo Group, China imports a total of 2.5 million tonnes of pork and pork by-products per year for USD 4.5 bn. The key items include rear and front legs, hog maws, tails, ears, and certain cuts. Because of the ASF, China’s pork imports are expected to grow at a rapid pace over the coming years. After the virus hit China in August 2018, the country faced more than 100 outbreaks. According to different estimates, Chinese pig breeders will lose up to 30% of their stock or even more. Even a 10% drop in the number of animals would require a 5–7 million tonnes increase in imports to maintain the typical consumption rates.