How the war impacted the Ukrainian livestock industry


Cow, pig and poultry figures are down by at least 15% and export figures are crushing.

Posted on Apr 26 ,13:04

How the war impacted the Ukrainian livestock industry

Exports of beef and pork from Ukraine have been stopped since February 24 due to restrictions applied by the EU and the blockade of ports as the Russian invasion is taking a toll on the Ukrainian meat industry. According to the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB), before the invasion by Russia, Ukraine had 2.6 million livestock, 1.6 million of which were cows. About 98% of those cattle were dairy cows, and milk production was 8.7 million tons. Main dairy production is concentrated in Western, Northern, and Central Ukraine. Due to the war, about 15% of cattle have been lost. In 2021, the beef production from dairy bulls and dry cows was 288,000 tons. About 10% (27,000 tons) of that meat was exported to China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Moldova, and the Middle East. From February 24, until April 10, there was a ban on beef exports.

The pig industry in Ukraine is distributed fairly evenly throughout the country. Before the war, there were 5.6 million pigs, and pork production was 750,000 tons. The number of pigs has now dropped by 20%. Although pork prices dropped at the beginning of the war, they have recovered (from 1.3 to 1.45 euros/kg).

The biggest meat market in Ukraine is poultry. In 2021, poultry production was 1.6 million tons (live weight) of which 400,000 tons were exported to Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, Slovakia, UAE, and Azerbaijan. That same year, there were 202 million birds, a number that has now fallen by 15%.
Due to the blockade of Ukrainian ports, exporting meat and meat products by sea is impossible. The export via EU countries is also difficult because of the EU veterinary restrictions. Even the transit of meat and meat products to non-EU countries is not allowed. Therefore, the export of beef and pork has stopped.

Because there are problems with refrigerators (no electricity, for example) in several regions of Ukraine, many meat processors have begun shifting from deep freezing to producing canned meat that can be stored at an ambient temperature.

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