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Russia could be heading towards self-sufficiency in poultry meat production more quickly than anticipated.
Latest figures from the Russian statistical office and the Russian Agriculture Ministry show that production of poultry meat rose by 6.1 per cent in the first four months of this year.
Poultry meat production reached 1.902 million tonnes in the first four months of the year, which was 110,200 tonnes more than in 2015.
Egg production was also up on the 2015 figures reaching 11.36 billion eggs in the four month period, 4.8 per cent or 518 million more eggs than in the first four months of 2015.
According to Rosstat, average producer prices for poultry meat and eggs in the Russian Federation in April this year were 94.87 roubles per kilo and 43.94 roubles per 10 eggs.
The main poultry production in the four month period was in Bryansk, Penza, Moscow area, the Stavropol Territory, and the Republic of Mordovia.
The main increase in egg production was in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Rostov and Belgorod regions, Perm and Krasnodar regions according to the director of Department of Animal Husbandry and Breeding Agriculture Russian Charon Amerhanov.
While not approaching self-sufficiency, milk production during the same four month period also rose.
Ministry of Agriculture figures show that it rose by 3.1 per cent or 145,400 tonnes, to 4.9 million tonnes.
Further report show that total meat production rose in the four month period by 13.5 per cent and according to the Russian Meat Association imports of meat have been falling over the last decade from around 40 per cent of total consumption to just 10 per cent.
At the same time, prices for meat have fallen over the last year with beef prices falling by more than 20 per cent, pork by nearly 31 per cent and poultry prices by 15 per cent.
For major producers, such as Cherkizovo, the drop in prices has meant there have been challenging times.
This one pig and poultry producer registered a net loss in the first quarter of this year of 0.4 billion roubles a drop of 115 per cent on the previous year, despite increases in sales, with a 19 per cent increase in poultry sales alone.
However, the company’s CEO Sergei Mikhailov has been putting on an optimistic face.
He said: “In poultry, prices have bottomed out and are beginning to turn around as inefficient producers exit the market and exports from Russia to new markets start to increase. Cherkizovo has made considerable progress in developing its exports after receiving licences to export our poultry products to the UAE and Egypt.”