Russian dairy imports drop by 10%

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Belarus was the main exporter of dairy to Russia in 2020.  Pic: Getty Images/sergeyryzhov
Belarus was the main exporter of dairy to Russia in 2020. Pic: Getty Images/sergeyryzhov

Related tags Russia Dairy Belarus

In January 2021, Russian imports of dairy products were 10% lower compared to their level in 2020 for the same period and practically corresponded to the volume of imports in 2019.

Data from the National Dairy Producers Union of Russia (Soyuzmoloko) showed 577,000 tons of dairy products worth $202.6m (-25%) were imported.

A decline in supply was observed for all product categories, except for cheese. As of January 2021, the main suppliers of dairy products to Russia were Belarus (75%), New Zealand (8%), Argentina (5%), Uruguay (4%), and Kyrgyzstan (2%). While volumes from Belarus increased by 14%, all other countries decreased their supplies of dairy products to Russia by 44%.

Russian imports of dairy products
Pic: Soyuzmoloko

Belarus occupies a leading position in external supplies of most types of dairy products despite the steady volume of dairy imports from non-CIS countries. Belarus supplies 86% of fluid milk and cream, 88% of skimmed milk powder (SMP), 94% of whole milk powder (WMP), 95% of fermented milk products, 89% of whey powder, 52% of butter, 91% of cheese, almost 100% of quark, and 60% of ice cream. Cheese products are an exception, as Belarus supplies only 14% of Russian cheese imports.

The main dairy products imported by Russia in January 2021 remained cheeses (about 46% of imports in value terms), butter (22%), milk and cream, powdered and condensed (10%), including SMP (5%) and WMP (2%), fluid milk and cream (8%), fermented milk products (8%) and cheese products (5%).  At the same time, in comparison with 2020, the share of cheese in the imported products has grown.

Soyuzmoloko is a non-profit organization based in Moscow, Russia. It unites milk producers and dairy processors as well as numerous service companies to represent their interests. The industry association advocates policies to executive and legislative authorities at both state and local levels, foreign agencies, other business organizations, the media, and the public.

The organization currently represents more than 200 milk producers, dairy processors, and service companies, which account for more than 60% of milk and dairy products in Russia.