The target set for this year is 85,000 tonnes of pork exports after last year reached a volume of 21,000 tonnes.
Even with a low productivity reported on farms, Russian pig market is still profitable for farmers, according to the latest Genesus global report.
While the domestic market is still growing, the main target for pork producers remains export, as concluded by Simon Grey, General Manager Russia CIS and Europe, Genesus Inc.
"The buzzword in the industry is still export. A lot of effort is being put into developing export markets for Russian pigmeat. Russia is certainly a country that could produce a lot more pigmeat to feed the worlds growing population. Last year Russia exported just 21,000 tonnes of pigmeat. The target is to increase this to 85,000 tonnes by 2018!", mentioned Grey.
That target could be reached soon if China will not contain the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak reported in some of its big farms.
"With the first case of ASF being announced in China, demand for pig meat in China could potentially be set to increase significantly. With such a large population of backyard pigs in China and a history of disease spread, it may prove difficult to contain. Without a doubt in Russia and now Europe, humans and backyard production have been a major reason for the spread of ASF. Human’s can’t carry ASF, except physically (contaminated shoes, clothes, hair and skin).
For the Chinese pig industry, hopefully, the outbreak of ASF is a one-off and has been contained. Once it gets into the backyard population it will be very difficult (or based upon Russian and European evidence) virtually impossible to contain. In China, with 60% of the world's pigs, this could have a very significant impact on the global pig meat market for years to come!", said Mr Grey.
Nevertheless, the sector needs to improve its efficiency in order to become competitive in the global pork market. "Maximising kg sold always has and always will be a major driver of profit in pig production. To do this you need to fill finisher buildings with fast-growing pigs. The major driver of growth rate is feed intake", added Simon Grey, referring to the strategy adopted by Russian pig farmers of not to use the full capacity in their farms.