The 20th edition of the Golden Autumn agricultural exhibition took place in Moscow from October 10 to 13 and was attended by more than 300,000 visitors. Over 2,500 exhibitors and organizations from over 20 countries took part in the event, including the remarkable participation of representatives from 60 different regions of Russia and 15 foreign states. This demonstrates the interest of the growing agriculture and livestock industries from these countries and creates opportunities for U.S. Soy.
USSEC Animal Utilization consultants, Dr. Jan van Eys and Dr. Iani Chihaia, escorted by local USSEC consultant Dr. Maria Domoroshchenkova, participated at the tradeshow with the goal to promote U.S. Soy among key end users from Russia. They expanded their efforts by focusing on the growing poultry industries from the southern Asian former Soviet Union (FSU) republics, especially Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The Russian Federation’s rapid growth in agriculture over the past few years is the result of significant state support for agri-business sector; over $18 billion has been provided to agricultural businesses over the past six years. Currently, the feed and livestock industries from the European Russia area are benefiting from affordable prices for locally grown grains, which bring an advantage in terms of feed costs. However, the shortage of local soybean production has highly influenced domestic market prices in Russia. Combined with limited possibilities to import soy, this caused significant increases in prices for feeds. However, the feed and poultry industries in Russia have developed rapidly during the past few years.
While in the FSU countries neighboring Russia, poultry production is moving to a new stage of development, becoming more diversified and more efficient, the poultry industries from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirgizstan are in the in the phase of speeding up investments in the new poultry farms. In a recent statement, the President of Kazakhstan’s Association of Egg Producers, Maxim Bozhko, stated that over the past ten years, the local industry succeeded to supply over 50 percent of domestic poultry meat and eggs. Today, Kazakhstan is self-sufficient in eggs. Local companies, however, are still unable to satisfy the domestic demand in poultry meat. Kazakhstan is planning to fully meet domestic demand for poultry meat in five to six years. The newly opened poultry farms in Akmola and Alma Ata regions prove the growth trend of Kazakhstan’s broiler production. With around 32 million people, Uzbekistan is the mostly populated country in Central Asia. Animal husbandry encompasses 40 percent of the total output of agriculture. During the last five years, livestock has increased by 21 percent including cattle by 7 percent, sheep and goats by 20 percent, and poultry 1.5 times.
Imports account for nearly 90 percent of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’s soybean meal usage, as those countries fail to produce significant amounts of soy to meet the demand of their domestic feed and poultry industries. The Russian company Sodrugestvo currently supplies much of the soybean meal used in these countries via its main soybean crushing facilities located in the Kaliningrad region. To meet the growing market demand, Sodrugestvo recently started operations at its new crushing plant in Belarus.
During the Golden Autumn exhibition days, the USSEC consultants had several meetings with end users, broiler and turkey integrated companies, oilseeds processors, and start-ups involved in developing and marketing specialty soy products.
Visiting the largest agricultural exhibition in Russia created and consolidated promising relationships with local customers and may lead in the medium term to increased sales of U.S. Soy products. The results of discussions the consultants had during the tradeshow strongly suggest that additional promotional actions in the southern independent republics (known as “-Stans”) should be seriously considered as they may increase demand for U.S. Soy in this region.