Russian pig holding aims to export feed to China

17-11-2021 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

The Russian agricultural holding, RusAgro, seeks to get permission to export feed to China to Heilongjiang province in the next 6 months, Maxim Basov, general director of RusAgro, told local press.

In July 2021, RusAgro revived a US$5-billion worth project of building several big pig farms in China, which was put on hold last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Negotiations on the project were expected to resume with Chinese partners as soon as some improvements with the coronavirus pandemic were seen, Maxim Basov said earlier this year. However, RusAgro wants its Chinese farms to run on the feed imported from Russia.

Russia not permitted to export feed to China

Currently, feed exports from Russia to China is not permitted. The countries still need to approve the form of veterinary certificates confirming the safety of supplied products. According to Basov, RusAgro could get a green light to export feed to China in the next 6 months.

“Now, there is a crisis in the Chinese pig industry. If China allows us to import feed, then, of course, building pig farms there and supplying them with feed from Mikhailovka [production division] looks very profitable,” Basov said, adding that if approved, feed exports to China could dramatically increase RusAgro’s feed production in the Russian Far East.

A focus on pork production

RusAgro has been putting a lot of effort into developing its pig business in the Far East. The company recently launched a pig processing plant with the capacity of 65,000 tonnes of pork per year and a slaughterhouse designed to handle 680,000 heads of pigs per year in the Mikhailovka territory. The project’s investment cost is estimated at 37.5 billion rubles (US$500 million) and it is anticipated to become fully operational in 2023.

Cheaper to produce feed in Russia

The cost of producing feed in the Primorsk region on the Russian Far East is cheaper than that in China, Basov estimated. Basically, he said that building pig farms in China was “an interesting and promising idea”, adding that RusAgro expressed interest in some other sales markets in the Asian region, including Vietnam.

Last year, Basov said that the long-term goal was to make China the primary sales market for RusAgro. The company expected to sell double the pork in China than it would in Russia.

Rusagro has production capacities for 308,000 tonnes of pork in live weight in Russia. The company earlier unveiled plans to boost this figure to 1 million tonnes, taking advantage of sales in foreign markets.

Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent