Meat Import to Ukraine Reaches a 5-year High

In the first quarter of 2018, the meat import to Ukraine reached a 5-year high. This information was provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

According to Andrey Pankratov, Agricultural Market Analyst and FAO National Advisor, the first three months of this year showed an across-the-board import growth. Moreover, in the first quarter of 2018, the growth was the highest in the last 5 years, while the pork import growth reached a 4-year high.

The analyst said that the reason of high import to the country were the rising prices of meat in the domestic market in 2017. “This happened in the second half of the last year too, but those “doors” remained opened. Almost all import to our country is coming from the EU, therefore their prices are important to us. Since the end of 2017, the fluctuations in the Ukrainian and European prices were not very significant in order to change the situation. In March, the prices in the EU began to rise, however, the hryvnia strengthened its position by then, and the import was still possible”, explained the expert.

At the same time, the pork prices in Europe may rise again soon due to the ban on the import of American pork products by China. Pankratov forecasts that this situation will lead to another rise of pork prices in Ukraine.

“Then we will have two options: either the Ukrainian prices won’t change and the import will slow down, or our prices will follow the European price increase, and the import will continue. Taking into account the pork production decrease and the fact that the producers wish to put the prime cost increase into the final price, the second option looks more possible”, said Andrey Pankratov.

According to the FAO’s data, in the first quarter of 2018, the pork import was 1.8 ths tonnes, which was by 17.1% higher than the last year’s growth during the same period of time. The import of poultry increased by 26% versus 2017, reaching 30.8 ths tonnes, by-products – by 44% to 8.4 ths tonnes, salo – 14.1 ths tonnes (+ 58%). The volume of beef import was insignificant.