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Kazakh Market Opportunities for Bovine Products

05 June 2012
BordBia

KAZAKHSTAN - Kazakhstan hopes to become a major beef exporter by 2020, according to Emily Balsamo, Moscow Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.

In order to boost production and edge towards self sufficiency, Kazakhstan currently imports large quantities of live cattle. This is motivated not only by their current quantity of cattle, but by quality.

Following the collapse of the SOVKHOZ (the government owned farm system), livestock production in Kazakhstan went from being concentrated on large farms to being almost entirely concentrated in private households.

In 2011, it was estimated that only six per cent of all cattle was held by agricultural enterprises, with 14 per cent in private farms and 80 per cent by private households.

The vast majority of cattle are of mixed dairy-beef breeding in order to supply both milk and meat for families. Such privatization of the cattle industry has resulted in lower quality meat and a complicated consumer situation with a high proportion being produced purely for domestic consumption.

Beef is the most popular meat in Kazakhstan, comprising 39 per cent of meat consumption, with poultry at 21 per cent, pork at 20 per cent, goat and sheep at 14 per cent and horse at seven per cent. Kazakhstan is largely self-sufficient in beef. However, there is a growing market for high quality imported beef, particularly among more affluent city dwellers. Currently, 15,000 metric tons of beef is imported annually, largely from Argentina and Australia.

The Kazakh market for foreign bovine semen is growing rapidly, increasing from nothing in 2006 to $500,000 worth in the first quarter of 2011. The majority of bovine semen is imported from the United States and Canada.

A representative from the Bord Bia Moscow office attended FoodWeek 2012 in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 23-25 May.

"We are using the event to get a better understanding of potential opportunities in the Kazakh market for Irish meat as well as seafood, dairy, drinks and sweets. During this visit we also hope to attract Kazakh dairy wholesalers, distributors and producers to our upcoming September 2012 Dairy Seminar in Moscow," said Emily Balsamo during the visit.

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