Russia Struggles With African Swine Fever

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Russia’s pork industry has struggled to contain outbreaks of African Swine Fever, which first appeared in the country in 2007. That is making it difficult for the industry to keep up with a years-long rise in domestic pork consumption, which is up 11 percent over the past 10 years. The highly contagious disease has been reported 1,300 times in the past decade, with 105 outbreaks in 2018 so far. Russia has made great efforts to boost pork output, backed by the government’s push for self-sufficiency in overall food production, but simply can’t meet the country’s growing demand.

Pork imports and exports are also struggling. In an attempt to increase domestic production, Russia banned pork imports from the EU in 2014, despite WTO opposition. Continuous outbreaks of African Swine Fever coupled with falling domestic selling prices, have discouraged hog farms from boosting output and from entering into export markets. Russia exported less than 40,000 tonnes of pork last year, a fraction of the more than 3 million tonnes produced domestically. Exports went mainly to neighboring countries and Southeast Asia. Export prospects to top global consumer China continue to look bleak, as that country aims to avoid further exposure to African Swine Fever as it struggles to contain its own problems with the disease.

Future prospects for Russia’s pork industry will depend a great deal on its ability to halt further outbreaks of African Swine Fever. With Gro Intelligence, subscribers have access to a multitude of important pork data.

Russia continues to boost domestic production of pork (left), but troubles with African Swine Fever are helping to keep volumes below domestic consumption. That, and a ban on pork imports from the EU since 2014, have greatly affected trade (right).

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