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02 February 2018, 18:28

Russia named main market for Belarusian dairy manufacturers

MINSK, 2 February (BelTA) - Russia remains the main market for Belarusian dairy products, BelTA learned from Aleksei Meleshchenya, Director of the Institute of Meat and Dairy Industry, one of the authors of the recommendations on the dairy market diversification.

Aleksei Meleshchenya stressed that manufacturing high-quality products is not enough for export promotion in new markets. Any market has the barriers that restrict supplies. For example, when exported to the EU some dairy products such as cheese double in price over the applicable duties, which turns these products uncompetitive. Some Belarusian enterprises are allowed to supply to the EU, which means the reach into approximately 40 countries, Aleksei Meleshchenya noted.

“For Belarusian dairy producers, Russia remains the main market, a more profitable one. We deliver dairy products to many countries, but we are not going to abandon the Russian market. It would be irrational. We carry out the analysis to reap the biggest possible export revenues. For example, if there is a deficit of, for example, cheese in the Russian regions, we respectively step up the supplies of this product. If the Russians increase the production of cottage cheese, then we don't focus on the increase of its supplies,” Aleksei Meleshchenya informed.

The recommendations to diversify the markets for dairy products were developed based on the study of the market trends in the international and regional dairy markets, the assessment of trade barriers, internal protection mechanisms in various markets, tariff and non-tariff measures to regulate import and other factors that have an impact on exports. The criteria also include easy logistics and consumption volumes. In China, for example, cheese is not particularly popular. Bangladesh has a large population, and hence there is a demand for dairy products. But the country applies a multi-level access system; there is a need to have insurance up to the date of delivery.

Dry milk is a strategic export item, Aleksei Meleshchenya believes. “Belarus has upgraded its dairy industry. Drinking milk export margins are low. Dry products, which can be stored for up to a year or more, are much more profitable. It would be smart to have the strategic stocks of this product. There are a number of points which we are trying to identify together with the government bodies to develop a dairy marketing strategy for the immediate and longer-term perspectives,” Aleksei Meleshchenya noted.

In 2017 Belarus exported dairy products to 44 countries. According to the latest data, last year Belarus produced more than 7.3 million tonnes of milk, up 2.5% vs 2016. Belarus produces 752kg of milk per person on average, which is higher than in some countries of the EU and EAEU. The product lineup features more than 1,500 items, including about 30 names of butter, 330 titles of cheese, more than 700 descriptions of dairy products

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