Russia is expected to import 510,000 metric tons of broilers in 2012, 156,000 tons above the previous estimate and slightly above the 500,000 tons in 2011, but 19.4 percent below the 633,000 tons in 2010, according to a USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) GAIN report last month from Moscow. FAS said it significantly raised its 2012 import forecast based on improved market access for poultry, which is now more favorable than in 2011.

In total, the 2012 poultry Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) will increase to 364,000 tons, as compared to 350,000 tons in 2011. This is also an upward revision from a July 2011 resolution, which would have otherwise set the 2012 TRQ at 330,000 tons. Russia, FAS believes, has demonstrated openness to keep its market available to imports from Belarus beyond agreed upon levels.  This action  “instills confidence” that Russia will not enforce strict quotas with its Union State partner going forward, FAS said.

FAS noted that poultry exporters to Russia in 2011 competed without country-specific quotas, and in 2012, there are new TRQs divisions among poultry products. Through October 2011, the United States and Brazil represented 86 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of the trade that makes up the newly established 250,000-ton broiler bone-in meat TRQ in 2012. At the same time, the European Union, Brazil, and the United States represented 44 percent, 35 percent, and 16 percent, respectively, of the trade that makes up the newly established broiler boneless meat TRQ.  After WTO accession, 80 percent of the boneless TRQ will be reserved for the European Union. In total, the boneless TRQ  is currently set at 70,000 tons, and it will increase to 100,000 tons upon WTO accession.

FAS expects Russia to produce 2,725,000 tons, a 5.8-percent increase over the 2,575,000 tons in 2011 and an 18.0-percent increase over the 2,310,000 tons in 2010.  In 2011, Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture provided $1.57 billion in funding for 74 poultry production projects.  These funds are to be used to increase production during 2012 to 2014.  The Ministry of Agriculture reported that Russia’s poultry industry’s profitability in 2011 increased to 24 percent.  However, increasing feed costs may likely trim the industry’s profitability the year, the report concluded.