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As beef prices increase in Russia due to limited supply, speculation arises as to whether the country will lift the ban on beef imports from countries such as the U.S. and Australia.
According to a report by the Netherlands based international food and agri-financing service provider, Rabobank, consumption of beef in Russia is now mainly reserved for the above-average income consumers.
Russian domestic beef supply is low and the import ban on the EU, U.S, Canadian and Australian beef has been extended until the end of 2017. A decrease in imports from big players such as Brazil (-57% in value and -45% in volume in 2015) add further pressure on beef prices.
Before the renewed economic tensions in the international arena, and the series of economic sanctions that have followed, Russia was a leading beef importer and held a 16% share of the global meat trade.
The Russian government is said to be investing in the modernisation of its beef sector to foster self-sufficiency, but it will be a few years before the country can constitute the necessary cattle herd and, in the meantime, its beef supplies are only enough to cater for 60% of the population.
Experts at Rabobank claim that, in order to clear the supply gap, it is essential to strengthen the rouble, but this can only be achieved if bans are lifted.
Source: Global Meat News