WASHINGTON – In 2012, Russia is predicted to import 510,000 metric tons of broilers, 156,000 tons more than the previous estimate and a little more than the 500,000 tons in 2011 – but 19.4 percent below the 633,000 tons recorded in 2010, according to last month’s USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) GAIN report from Moscow. FAS significantly increased its 2012 import forecast based on improved market access for poultry, which is now more favorable than in 2011, according to the March 16 edition of the National Chicken Council’s Washington Report.

NCC relays the 2012 poultry Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) will increase to 364,000 tons, versus 350,000 tons in 2011. This is also an upward revision from a July 2011 resolution, which would have otherwise set the 2012 TRQ at 330,000 tons. FAS believes Russia has demonstrated openness to keep its market available to imports from Belarus beyond agreed upon levels. Therefore, FAS reasons, its action “instills confidence” that Russia will not enforce strict quotas with its Union State partner going forward.

Poultry exporters to Russia in 2011 competed without country-specific quotas, FAS noted, and in 2012 there are new TRQs divisions among poultry products. The US and Brazil represented 86 percent and 12 percent, respectively, through October 2011 of the trade that makes up the newly established 250,000-ton broiler bone-in meat TRQ in 2012. The European Union, Brazil and the US represented 44 percent, 35 percent, and 16 percent, respectively, of the trade that makes up the newly established broiler boneless meat TRQ.

Eighty percent of the boneless TRQ will be reserved for the European Union after WTO accession. In total, the boneless TRQ is currently set at 70,000 tons, and it will increase to 100,000 tons upon WTO accession.

Russia is predicted to produce 2,725,000 tons, a 5.8-percent increase over the 2,575,000 tons in 2011 and an 18.0-percent increase over the 2,310,000 tons in 2010, FAS relays.

Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture provided $1.57 billion in funding for 74 poultry production projects last year. These funds are targeted to be used to increase production from 2012 to 2014.

Russia’s poultry industry’s profitability in 2011 increased to 24 percent, the Ministry of Agriculture reported. But the report concluded that increasing feed costs could trim the industry’s profitability this year.