According to Burmaa, the country will invest up to US$90 million in the development of meat exports this year.
“In 2014, Mongolia exported meat to only one region of Russia. Now, we have established a contractual relationship with eight regions in the Russian Federation. We also intend to increase supplies of meat products to China and South Korea,” she said.
“We are working on this issue. The Ministry has allocated MNT80bn (US$40m) for the creation of additional reserves of meat and MNT100bn (US$50m) for a further increase in deliveries of meat abroad,” she added.
Burmaa said that, currently, the country had strong potential to develop export supplies as, last year, the number of livestock in the country saw unprecedented growth of 34% year-to-year to reach 56 million head.
At the end of 2015, after a two-year ban, China resumed imports of Mongolian meat. Experts suggested that, since 2013, the country had achieved real progress in terms of improving livestock biosecurity. As such, the prospects for Mongolian in the Russian market were considered by local participants to be much better.
“Up to 80% of Russia’s beef imports come from Latin America. However, Mongolia is located much closer to Russia, so cooperation with the country would be much more profitable, while for companies located in the Urals [Federal District], supplies from Mongolia would be more convenient in terms of logistics,” said Mushegh Mamikonyan, chairman of the Russian Meat Union.
Previously, Mongolia’s Meat Union estimated that the country had the potential to establish export supplies to Asia and Russia worth a total of MNT600bn (US$300m) per year. Deliveries to Russia, it added, could reach 100,000 tonnes (t) per year, while forecasts for Asian markets had not yet been estimated.
“Supplies of such volumes of meat [to Russia] would be a good step in diversifying import flows. In addition, pastoral breeding provides meat with less fat content, so in terms of food hygiene this is a plus in favour of the Mongolian product,” added Mamikonyan.
However, several industry observers have suggested that Mongolia has not yet solved all it biosecurity issues.
“Mongolia is sufficiently large and there are many wild animals and related infections. The risk of livestock contracting these infections is high, simply due to the pastoral method of livestock breeding,” said Eugene Lapinsky, head of the animal husbandry and veterinary department at Russia’s National Meat Association.