The Russian”Kommersant” reported on April 6 that due to negative factors such as restaurant closures and declining incomes caused by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, Russian beef consumption fell 3.4%to 1.94 million tons in 2020, the lowest level in the past decade. The Russian industry predicts that the future price increase of poultry meat and pork will lead to an increase in beef demand, but Russian experts are not optimistic about the prospects for beef consumption growth.
According to data from the Russian Agricultural Bank, Russian beef demand has been declining for two consecutive years. The President of the Russian Meat Association, Yushen, said that affected by the epidemic restrictions, remote office mode, and the uncertainty of Russian residents’ income, Russian consumers are gradually saving money and choosing cheaper meats such as poultry and pork. The market demand for beef is declining. Dalinov, an expert from the Russian Industry Appraisal Center, said that the decline in beef consumption is related to the decline in beef production by individual farmers. At the same time, Russian beef exports in 2020 will surge 103%to 20,000 tons, of which exports to China account for 45%.
Representatives of major Russian supermarkets said that the demand for relatively cheap beef in the Russian market has been declining for many years, but the demand for high-quality beef products is still growing. The Russian high-end beef market is still not saturated, so with the development of production, logistics and retail trade, as well as the catering industry, Russian beef consumption will gradually increase. Affected by the African Swine Fever, the Russian Pig Association lowered its 2021 pork production growth forecast from 250,000 to 260,000 tons to 175,000 to 180,000 tons. The prices of pork and poultry may rise, and the consumption of beef may increase accordingly. Darinov predicts that beef consumption may increase by another 100,000 tons in the next ten years.
But some experts believe that the probability of pork and poultry prices rising in 2021 is low and short-lived, which will only last for a few months. In the context of the long-term decline in the purchasing power of Russia’s per capita, Russian consumers may not switch to buying more expensive beef.