Brazilian exports of pigmeat to Russia have increased dramatically in 2015, with approximately 153,800t of this product entering the Russian market, according to the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA).

According to the ABPA this has led to an increase in total volume exports, which are up by 4.4% on the first eight months of 2014, with exports to Russia up by a staggering 37%.

This increase may only represent 5.2% of the EU exports to Russia prior to the ban on European pigmeat in 2013, figures from the EU Commision show.

But, this increased volume of product coming from South America is twice as much as Ireland exported to the Eastern European state in 2013.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that Ireland exported approximately 20,000t of pigmeat to Russia prior to the ban in 2014.

While there has been a 41,537t increase in Russian imports from Brazial, says the ABPA.

However, the increase in pigmeat exports bringing the total to 340,800t did not return a similar financial increase.

Revenues generated from these exports for the first eight months of 2015 are currently sitting 17% behind 2014 levels, with a value of $826.6 million (€739m).

According to the ABPA’s Vice President of pigs Rui Eduardo Vargas Saldanha, exports of Brazilian pigmeat to Russia should keep pace in 2016, which will compensate for a fall in its other export markets.

“All indicators show that shipments to Russia should keep pace, offsetting reductions identified in exports of certain markets, the example of Hong Kong.”

Processors call for ‘immediate action’ to lift Russian pigmeat embargo

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to push for immediate action at EU level to remove technical restrictions on pigmeat exports to Russia.

MII represents Irish meat processors and said that the upcoming specially convened Agriculture Council meeting in Brussels provides an opportunity for clear political direction to be given by EU agriculture ministers to engage in technical discussions with the Russian authorities to resolve the technical embargo on EU pigmeat.

The embargo on pigmeat and other products was introduced in January 2014 as a result of limited African Swine Fever outbreaks in some eastern European Member States.

MII said that progress in this area could have a very positive impact on the EU pigmeat market and could quickly lead to the resumption of exports of certain pigmeat products which are blocked by these technical restrictions.

Unrest in amongst pig producers has been heightened as a result of poor returns in the sector.

On of the key factors in the market over the past year has been the Russian ban which has served to reduce pig prices by €25 per head over the past 12 months.