1 Dec 2023 20:11

Russian poultry producers strongly oppose additional egg import measures - industry union

MOSCOW. Dec 1 (Interfax) - Russian poultry farmers oppose the adoption of additional measures to intensify egg imports, as well as restrictions on their exports.

"Our egg resources are replenished only by imports from Belarus. This is a long-established interaction. If we raise the question of additional imports from third countries, of course, we are categorically against it, we need to develop our own production and not to unbalance the market, which we have developed over the years," deputy head of the Russian Poultry Producers' Union Elena Stepanova said at the "Russian Agrotrends 2023-2024" conference in Moscow on Friday.

As reported, the Agriculture Ministry this week said it plans to consider zeroing out import duties on chicken eggs for six months. The ministry also proposed a six-month ban on egg exports.

"We have a fairly steady egg exports, they are modest, amounting to only 1% of production," Stepanova said. For example, eggs are supplied to Mongolia by companies that are logistically accessible. "These ties took shape over many years, and now, if they are broken, the companies will suffer serious losses, because it will be difficult to return to the market from which they left," she said, adding that the volumes supplied to Mongolia will be difficult to realize in the domestic market, as it is quite saturated in these regions.

Speaking about the price situation on the market, Stepanova said that the rise in egg prices in recent months is largely due to high consumer demand. "The seasonality of price formation, which raises questions every year, has been superimposed on the increased demand from the population," she said. "The average selling price for 4M this year was lower than last year. For May-September, there was also a year-on-year decrease. In 10M, the increase in selling prices was only about 9%," she said.

According to Stepanova, the price situation in the egg market is largely provoked by retail chains. "For over two or three years we have been working with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on concluding contracts, which will stipulate both price and volumes, and which will allow producers to build their strategy. But, unfortunately, most enterprises remain without such contracts," she said.

According to her, the increased demand requires an increase in production. "But the situation in which the industry has been developing in recent years has not created the potential that would be able to meet this increased demand," she said.

However, Stepanova emphasized that there will be no decline in egg production this year. "We will reach last year's level, and the same stable situation, we are sure, will take shape in 2024," she said.

According to Rosstat data, Russia produced 46.1 billion eggs in 2022, 2.7% more than in 2021.