Food Industry News

Cheese has passed all bounds

For the first time since the introduction of the food embargo Russia resumed growth in the share of foreign cheeses, imports of which increased by a third in the first quarter of the year 2016. This was mainly due to Belarus; gradually, albeit at disparate volumes, rising delivery from Serbia and Armenia.

At the same time reduced the pace of Russian cheese production, primarily due to lack of raw materials and low profitability.

According to the results of the first quarter of 2016, cheese import to Russia amounted to 49,3 thousand tons - this is 31% more than the same period last year. The growth of supplies was recorded for the first time after the introduction of the food embargo in August of the year 2014, follows from the May report of the National Union of Milk Producers (Soyuzmoloko) and MilkNews. The increase in imports was noted primarily from Belarus - by 41%, to 41,8 thousand tons, Serbia - by 87%, to 2,1 thousand tons, and Armenia - by half, to 1,2 thousand tons. Of these countries, traditional cheeses of medium Price segment, explained in Soyuzmolok. Growing imports experts attribute to the decline in world prices for cheeses and stabilization of the ruble. "Compared to the uncertain situation in January of the year 2015, importers are again beginning to plan purchases and contracts," says the head of Gazprombank's economic forecasting center, Daria Snitko.

The continuing high proportion of imports of Belarusian cheese is primarily due to the geography of export orientation and dairy business, says CEO "Soyuzmoloko" Artem Belov. In addition, according to him, the Belarusian producers supply their products at cost prices significantly below the average Russian levels: 250-255 rubles. against 280-302 rubles. for 1 kg. A small Serbia and Armenia share is made mostly young cheeses, the expert said.

Imported cheeses are sold in Russia and under own trademarks (STM) of large federal networks. "Tenders are held once a month: either Russian or Belarusian plants win," the press service of the X5 Retail Group (Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, Karusel) reported. In the stores of the Dixy Group, according to its director for external relations, Ekaterina Kumanina, the largest share of imported cheeses is from Belarus and Serbia - the latter produces cheese for sale under the STM D for the group. In January-March, "Dixie" increased the number of imported and Russian cheeses by 25%.

Against the background of the growth of imported cheeses, the growth rates of domestic cheese production have sharply decreased, the Soyuzmolok report says. In the first quarter of 2016, their output grew only by 1,2%, to 103,7 thousand tons, while a year ago the growth rate reached 36%. "After the introduction of the food embargo was the peak of production," - explains one of the market participants. During the 2015 year, the cheeses were the main driver of the dairy market - their production increased by 18,5% to 448,4 thousand tons. The slowdown in the rate of cheese output Artem Belov associates with a decrease in demand due to a drop in real incomes, a shortage of raw milk suitable for cheese making, A high level of competition with producers from Belarus and a decrease in profitability of production. Now most consumers are not ready to spend more than 200-250 rub. For 1 kg of cheese, says one of the Russian cheese-makers. In this case, according to him, 200 rub. Is the border below which to sell cheese will be unprofitable for a bona fide producer.

As calculated in the "Soyuzmoloko" in 2015, the cheese consumption in Russia fell by 1,9%, but growth in demand immediately to 2016% was recorded in the first quarter of the year 12,2. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, says "Kommersant", reached 2015 81,3% in the share of own products in the Russian dairy market, whereas, according to the Food Security Doctrine, its minimum value should be 90 2020% for the year.

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