COVID restrictions in Russia make prices jump


Many Russians have reserved their holidays in the country and consumption has increased.

Posted on Sep 02 ,09:20

COVID restrictions in Russia make prices jump

Pork consumption has increased in Russia as COVID restrictions have forced many Russians to organize their holidays domestically. Combine with this year's ASF outbreaks, increased demand for pork has lifted prices in the Russian market. According to a Geness Inc market report, live pigs are worth 138.2 Roubles ($1.88) per kg (VAT included), while average prices of different cuts are as follows:


Pork Cut


US Dollar/kg

Neck (fresh)



Loin (fresh)



Ham (fresh)



Shoulder (fresh)



Pork Mince (18% fat)



Diced Pork



Fresh Sausage (+20% fat)



Flavoured Sausage (+20% fat)



Streaky Bacon (belly)



Pork Ribs (on bone)



Hot Dogs (pink stuff)



Of course, prices are more expensive in large urban areas such as Moscow or Sankt Petersburg but a certain rise in prices has been seen across the country. There are several reasons for this, says Simon Grey, General Manager Russia, CIS and Europe. "There are several reasons for the recent increase in price:
Covid restrictions mean more Russians taking holidays in Russia.
A short-term shortage on market due to ASF breaks earlier in the year.
A new large-scale slaughter plant.
A relatively small part of the supply chain available on the open market (many producers fully integrated with production, slaughter and processing).
One ongoing discussion I have with Russian producers is the possibility to get a higher price for better-tasting pork. The consensus is always the market is ready for this".

In his opinion, current trends in consumption are very interesting. "First observation is that there are significant differences in values of different parts of the pig. For fresh option, neck, which is a fatter part of the pig, is the most expensive. This means that people will (and do) pay more for tastier cuts of pork.
The second and quite surprising observation is that ham, a very lean part of the pig and therefore a part that can be dry and tasteless, has by far the lowest value. I have recently heard of companies using Pietrain in Russia (or synthetic Pietrain type pigs with large hams). Why would anyone want to use a Pietrain type pig with a large ham in Russia, and produce a pig with more of the lowest value pork? If we could breed pigs with no back legs at all it would be better!!

The third observation is that in this simply survey the most expensive cut is belly when cured for bacon. Russians today are not big bacon eaters. In North America, the reason for the belly being an expensive primal is due to its use for bacon. Crispy fried bacon is well recognized in many parts of the world as the tastiest of all meats (people like the taste). A big opportunity maybe?
The last observation is that the processed products have good retail value. All of these products can be made from the very low-value ham, but need a significant amount of added fat!" he added. 

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