Russian food & drink market update November 2018

This November promises to be full of the usual hustle and bustle for Russia’s food & drinks industry. Hot topics this month: bananas make their way to Russia from a new point of origin, beef and pork from Brazil is back, and closer seafood cooperation between Argentina and Russia.

Russia food & drink new roundup


Brazilian pork & beef exports to Russia resume

Russia is ready to resume pork and beef imports from nine Brazilian producers says Russian food health and safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor. 
2017 saw an import ban on red meat products from Brazil by Russia, after traces of food additive ractopamine were found in beef and pork shipments. The additive is legal in Brazil, but banned in Russia. 
Russian authorities said they are lifting this particular embargo after Brazil provided safety guarantees regarding its meat products.
With this move, as much as 20,000 tons could be added to Brazilian meat export volumes this year. Previously, Russia was responsible for 40% of Brazilian pork exports, so exporters like Minerva Foods and Aurora Alimentas will be pleased with this decision. 


Honduran bananas enter the Russian market

Russian inspectors and importers have said they are willing to import more Honduran bananas.
After visiting production sites and plantations in October 2018, Russian companies have given the go ahead to begin banana imports from Honduras. 
“Russia alone consumes all the bananas we export in one year in one week,” Hector Castro, President of the Independent Banana Producers Guild, told Fresh Plaza. It’s thought Russia as a market will help Honduras reach new export revenue goals.
"Everything indicates that, this year, the banana will be the second biggest generator of foreign currency, after coffee," Mr Castro said. "Things are getting interesting."
Honduras received over $350m from its banana exports last year. With Russia still banning imports of fresh fruits from the EU, US and allies, it’s becoming an ever more attractive market for fruit exporters outside of those territories, particularly South America.

Russia & Argentina seek closer seafood cooperation

Argentinian seafood exports to Russia have been rising dramatically as Russia keeps its import bans on produce from the European Union, Norway and the United States. Both states are now seeking to strengthen their seafood partnership with a fresh wave of business cooperation.
The partners signed a draft agreement on fisheries cooperation in late October 2018. Under the terms of this deal, it will be easier for Argentinian exporters to get their goods into Russia, boosting trade. On the other side, Russian trawlers will have access to Argentine waters.
A special Russian-Argentine Fishery Commission will be established to see the agreement implemented. The agreement will last five years with the possibility a five-year extension.
Argentina’s seafood exports to Russia grew 82% in 2017, compared with the previous year. Russia is now the third largest buyer of Argentinian seafood. In monetary terms, in 2017, Argentina exported US$ 24.3 million worth of shrimp to Russia - a huge 193% higher than in 2016.