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Saudi Arabia to import meat from Russia
8 Nov 2017
The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance stated that Saudi Arabia has open its market to the import of Russian meat products. The parties signed veterinary and sanitary certificates for the products of animal origin (beef, goat meat, lamb, poultry and their by-products, as well as eggs) exported from Russia to Saudi Arabia, and sanitary and technical requirements to the products of animal origin (beef, goat meat, lamb, poultry and their by-products) produced in Russia.

Russian manufacturers will be able to start exporting as soon as they get included in the list of companies allowed to export their products to the KSA. The list will be provided by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. At the same time, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance will be able to include the companies that comply with the importer’s requirements and have gone through relevant inspection.

Prior to the visit of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdelaziz al-Saud to Russia, a session of the Russian-Saudi business council took place in Moscow. The head of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Ahmed al-Rajhi, said that the country was interested in meat supplies. He noted that Saudi Arabia mostly imported meat from Australia and New Zealand. However, it takes three times less time to go to Moscow, therefore the Russian involvement would be beneficial for Saudi Arabia.

In his interview to Agroinvestor Sergey Yushin, Head of the Executive Committee of the National Meat Association, said the Saudi market was quite interesting for Russia. Due to unfavourable climate the Saudi authorities had to give up on their poultry production plan; as a result, they import 1.5 times more poultry than they produce. Saudi Arabia also imports 130,000 tons beef, mostly from the South America. However, Russian manufacturers hope their meat will be used in HoReCa segment and for premium retail sales. Apart from meat products, the country imports 60-70,000 tons of sheep, which might be of interest for the North Caucasian republics.

At the same time, according to Yushin, Saudi consumers are not familiar with Russian meat products yet, which implies severe competition with the manufacturers that have already gained a foothold on the local market. This situation will require close cooperation with local distributors, who can help understand the local market and gain trust of local consumers. Besides, the exporters should be aware that some difficulties might arise during halal certification, since there is no universal certification procedure.

Source: based on Agroinvestor.ru materials

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