While struggling to produce enough soybeans to meet domestic demand, Russia’s heavy reliance on imports has led to an inevitable consequence on cost and supply. With acute shortages looming, what steps are being taken to fill the blanks?
Imports account for nearly 43% of soybean supplies in Russia as the country fails to produce enough to meet the demand of domestic feed mills.
Soybean imports faced added heavy pressure amid Russia’s anti-GMO campaign. At the end of June 2016 Russia’s State Duma, the lower chamber of the country’s Parliament, passed the bill, fully prohibiting both cultivation of genetically modified crops within Russia and the imports of GMO seeds. In addition, importers of GMO-products are obliged to register accordingly. This brought a real storm to the market, in particular targeting Russia’s largest importer of soybeans and manufacturer of soybean meal, the agricultural holding GK Sodruzhestvo who accounts for more than 50% of the country’s soybean meal market.
In the period from October to December 2016 Russia’s veterinary watchdog Rosselhoznadzor filed 17 legal claims against GK Sodruzhestvo, saying that during inspections GMOs had been repeatedly identified in batches of imported soybeans. Rosselhoznadzor placed several fines on GK Sodruzhestvo, forcing the company to temporarily stop production supplies.
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