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13 Feb 2015

Belarus, Russia to sign food trade documents for March

MINSK, 13 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia intend to sign the documents that will be used as guidelines for food trade in March, BelTA learned from Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats.

Asked about the revision of the previously agreed documents concerning food supplies to the Russian market, the official remarked that a joint session of the boards of the Belarusian and Russian agriculture ministries will take place in March 2015 to discuss Belarusian food export to Russia, including volume figures.

Leonid Zayats was optimistic about Belarus’ plans to supply meat and dairy products to Russia. In particular, he mentioned that at present Russia consumes 800,000 tonnes of cheese and imports 400,000 tonnes. Of the total Belarus supplies only 120,000 tonnes. “Therefore, our slice of the market can be quite big. We should build additional capacity to make cheese, including by modernizing existing enterprises. The segment should be a priority at present. Work is in progress on plans to increase production,” he said.

Apart from that, the official said that in January-November 2014 Russia imported about 560,000 tonnes of cattle meat, including 447,000 tonnes from third countries. In the period Belarus exported 113,000 tonnes. “In this regard we believe it is very important for Belarus to occupy the dairy niche and the cattle meat niche because, for instance, Russia produces 90% of the poultry meat it needs,” said the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister.

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