Beef consumption in Russia fell to 1.94 million tonnes last year, a ten-year low, due to the closure of the HoReCa channel as well as lower incomes among consumers.
This is a drop of 3.4% compared to the previous year, according to a report in news platform news.mail.ru.
According to Russia's National Meat Association, COVID-19-related restrictions, working from home and uncertainty about future income were all factors that led consumers to choose cheaper cuts of meat, such as poultry and pork last year.
The decline in beef consumption has now declined for the second year in a row, the news portal reported.
However, at the same time, consumers are turning to more premium cuts of beef, with sales of Black Angus beef rising by 25% last year, a positive trend that is continuing into this year. Demand for cheaper cuts has been falling for several years now.
Beef exports were also up last year, to 20,000 tonnes, with 45% of supplies going to the Chinese market.
Industry experts are anticipating that beef sales will recover by the end of 2021, boosted by the opening of the HoReCa segment as well as increases in the price of pork and poultry, news.mail.ru said.
This is being driven in part by African swine fever, which has led Russia's National Union of Pig Breeders to lower its forecast for pork production in 2021 to between 175,000 and 180,000 tonnes (from 250,000 to 260,000 tonnes previously).
At the start of the year, Cherkizovo Group, a major Russian meat processor, said that it saw sales volumes of 176,200 tonnes in its fourth quarter, in line with the fourth-quarter results in 2019 and the previous quarter.
The average sales price increased by 4% year-on-year and 5% quarter-on-quarter.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine