14 Nov 2023 10:23

Rusagro's Primorye pork cluster expected to reach full capacity in 2024 instead of 2023

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) - Rusagro Group's pig farming cluster in Primorye is now expected to reach full production capacity of 75,000 tonnes of pork per year in 2024 instead of this year as previously planned, the Russian agribusiness group's CFO, Alexander Tarasov said in a conference call.

"We're bringing it up to full capacity. But if we're talking about absolute timeframes, we were hindered by an outbreak of ASF [African swine fever] that occurred in the second quarter of 2023," Tarasov said.

The cluster will "probably not" reach full capacity this year, but "we'll be close," he said. "We'll probably reach full capacity next year, particularly if the possibility of exports to China is realized," Tarasov said.

The company is really counting on starting to ship pork to the Chinese market next year, he said. "At this point, what we've built is sufficient to develop this [market]," Tarasov said when asked about possible expansion of the cluster if it exports to China.

Rusagro has a program to develop the Primorye cluster, but the company is approaching its implementation "fairly conservatively," he said. "We will make concrete decisions when we understand the whole potential of exports," Tarasov said.

China decided in September to lift restrictions on pork imports from Russia after an assessment of risks and analysis of Russia's system of state control over African swine fever. However, given all the necessary procedures that must be carried out, Russian pork exports to the Chinese market will probably not begin before the second or third quarter of 2024, Russia's Economic Development Ministry said earlier.

Rusagro began the project to build a pork farming cluster in the Mikhailovsky priority development area in Russia's Far East in 2016. It includes 13 production facilities, including nine pig farms, a compound feed plant with elevator, meat processing plant and a vehicle fleet.