Russia to Expand Dairy Export to North Africa, Middle East, Asia

Thu May 16 2024
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MOSCOW: Russia has ambitious plans to expand its presence in the global dairy market, aiming for annual export growth rates of 15-20%, particularly targeting countries like Algeria and Southeast Asian countries.
According to Artem Belov, head of the industry lobby group Soyuzmoloko, Russia aims to substantially increase its dairy exports over the next decade.
While Russia’s current dairy exports stand at $400 million annually, representing about 1% of the global market valued at over $40 billion, recent data shows promising signs of growth. With doubled whey exports and a significant increase in milk powder supply in 2023, Russia sees potential for exponential expansion, especially in untapped markets outside the CIS region.
The biggest buyers until now have been Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia – countries that were once part of the Soviet Union and where Russian milk, cheese and cottage cheese are popular – as well as China.
The shift towards non-European markets is strategic, with Russia eyeing countries like the UAE, Oman, Tunisia, Egypt, and the Philippines.
Algeria, in particular, has emerged as a promising market, with initial shipments of skim milk powder from the Volga region marking a significant breakthrough.
Belov predicts Algeria could soon become Russia’s top buyer, presenting immense opportunities for dedicated production facilities tailored to the Algerian market.
Russia’s dairy exports currently represent 12 to 14% of its SMP and whey production, which reached 25.8 million tonnes of industrial milk in 2023. Despite a record surge in domestic consumption, forecasted at 3% for 2024, Russia aims to maintain its production growth rate of 3-4%, utilizing exports to balance the domestic market dynamics effectively.

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