Russian poultry exporters: growth in Saudi Arabia & Africa

In 2020, Russian poultry export grew noticeably due to opportunities in new markets, Russian state-owned agricultural bank Rosselhozbank said in a statement on October 6.

During the first 8 months of the year, Rosselhozbank issued Rub47.4 billion (US$650 million) worth of loans to poultry exporters, 6% more than during the same period of the previous year. Rosselhozbank is the main Russian bank supporting agricultural exports.

China more important

Last year, China developed as the key market for Russian poultry exports, Andrey Dalnov, director of Rosselhozbank’s analytical department, said in the statement. “Since the Chinese market opened for Russian poultry producers in 2019, the country became a large importer, with a share of more than 50% of the total Russian export,” Dalnov said. The main uniqueness of poultry exports to China is the high demand for chicken feet. Russians are not buying this product, and before exports to China, Vietnam, and Hong Kong started, Russian poultry producers discarded chicken feet to produce meat-and-bone meal.

New markets

In 2020, Saudi Arabia will probably overtake Kazakhstan and Ukraine and become the second-biggest sales market for Russian poultry products, Rosselhozbank forecasted. As of today, the country accounts for 5% of Russian poultry exports, while Kazakhstan accounts for 15% and Ukraine for 13%. Saudi Arabia is mainly buying small broiler carcasses, weighing less than 1.2 kg. Russian exporters also see promising opportunities in the African direction. Since the beginning of the year, export quantities to Liberia, Benin, and Angola have been growing. According to Dalnov, Russian exporters are met with Brazilian competition on the Angolan market, as importers and exporters share the same mother tongue

Increased competition

In essence, Russian poultry exporters are increasingly competing with the world’s major suppliers from the U.S., Brazil, and the European Union. “The steady increase in exports proves the maturity of the domestic market as well as the high effectiveness and competitiveness of the companies engaged in export sales,” Rosselhozbank added. Besides, Russian currency depreciation is believed to be one of the factors supporting the growth in poultry exports.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian Rouble has lost nearly 15% in value against the hard currency, primarily due to of lowering global demand for oil and gas. In September of 2020, the Russian currency exchange rate hit a 5-year low against the dollar and the euro.

Saudi Arabia’s poultry imports from Brazil up 22%

São Paulo – Saudi Arabia’s poultry imports from Brazil were a highlight in October at 44,900 tons, up 22% year-on-year. The information was made public by the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) this Wednesday (11).

Last month saw 319,700 tons of poultry shipped abroad from Brazil, down 9.4% year-on-year. Exports fetched USD 446.8 million, down 21.2%.

“Despite the impact stemming from Mexico and the Philippines having made no purchases in October, broadly speaking, foreign sales remain on par with 2019. The gradual resumption of shipping to Saudi Arabia and growing volumes to Europe are an indication of increased capillarity in industry sales,” a press release quoted ABPA chairman Ricardo Santin as saying.

The Philippines had an embargo on Brazilian poultry in place through September and haven’t resumed buying since that ended. The move came after China purported to have found traces of the coronavirus in a batch of frozen poultry from Brazil. Mexico has filled out its Brazilian poultry import quotas. Brazil is in talks to agree on new quotas.

The ABPA reported that year-to-date through October, poultry exports came out to 3.498 million tons, up from 3.490 million through October 2019. Revenues slid 13% to USD 5.066 billion from USD 5.820 billion through October 2019.

China remained the leading importer of poultry from Brazil at 564,000 tons, up 24% from a year ago. Other major importers in Asia include South Korea, whose imports were up 7%, and Singapore, up 32%.

Paraná remains the biggest exporting state, followed by Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and Goiás.


Saudi Arabia, US officials in ‘desalination project talks’

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture officials recently held discussions with the visiting delegation of US Energy Department on boosting bilateral cooperation in the field of desalination, said a report.
The two sides are likely to sign a MoU on technology transfer of saline water conversion techniques, reported Saudi Press Agency.
These agreements are aimed at consolidating bilateral technical and technological cooperation prospects, it added.
Victoria Coates, Adviser to the US Secretary of Energy, later visited the Desalination Technologies Research Institute, in Jubail, accompanied by the Director General of the institute Dr. Ahmed Al-Amoudi.


Saudi Arabia continues to achieve food sustainability

The Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, called on the international community to take a serious stand to prevent the food crisis from getting worse, and to enact laws that contribute to obtaining safe and nutritious food, especially since the world today is living in exceptional circumstances due to the global negative effects of the Corona pandemic (Covid 19) At all levels, especially the food and agricultural sector, according to SPA.

He stressed on the occasion of the ministry’s celebration of the “40th World Food Day”, which falls on October 16 of each year under the title “Together we grow, nourish, and maintain sustainability … our actions are our future”, in conjunction with the global celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO, the international community should seize this opportunity to work to deliver food to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population in the developing countries, which are most affected by the pandemic and the economic impacts arising from it.

Al-Fadhli indicated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and within the global efforts, is moving forward to achieve the goal of sustainable development (2030), which is the elimination of hunger, in line with its humanitarian, moral and religious duty, pointing to the unprecedented efforts and the huge aid that it has provided and is still providing by the Kingdom’s government to fight hunger Reducing poverty and supporting refugees around the world, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, which is one of the most important arms of the Kingdom in assisting brotherly and friendly stricken peoples.

He stressed that the Kingdom’s government attaches great importance to achieving comprehensive food security, as the implementation of the National Food Security Strategy in the Kingdom has been approved and started, which succeeded, after God’s grace and with cooperation between the government and private sectors, to overcome the disruption in supply chains that affected global food supplies, which is What was evident during the Corona pandemic (Covid 19), as the government takes care and attention to the agricultural sector and its workers through enacting policies, regulations and preparing strategies that support small farmers and livestock keepers in rural areas, with the aim of increasing and diversifying agricultural production, and achieving sustainability and self-sufficiency, And poverty alleviation.


Saudi imports of livestock, animal products total $2.08bln in 5 months

Riyadh – The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture managed to provide livestock and cattle in Saudi markets during the COVID-19 crisis, as part of the kingdom’s food security strategy and the ministry’s efforts to support the local market and maintain price stability.

The kingdom’s imports of livestock and animal products amounted to SAR 7.8 billion during the first five months of 2020, an annual drop of 10.97% or SAR 961.5 million, according to data collected by Mubasher.

March contributed the most to the livestock import value with SAR 1.83 billion, followed by May with SAR 1.61 billion, whereas January was the least on the list with just SAR 1.2 billion worth of imports.

During the January-May period in 2020, Saudi Arabia’s exports of livestock and animal products totalled SAR 2.25 billion, compared with SAR 2.46 billion in the year-ago period.

In the first half (H1) of 2020, the kingdom imported 1.269 million heads of livestock, according to official data.

In 2019, the kingdom’s imports of livestock and animal products recorded a value of SAR 19.51 billion, down by 7.8% from SAR 18.1 billion in 2018.


Saudi Ports to develop massive grain terminal in Yanbu

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) is set to develop the Kingdom’s biggest grain terminal in Yanbu.

Mawani signed an agreement with the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), a Public Investment Fund-owned company, to lease land in Yanbu Commercial Port to be used to develop the project. The value of the project was not disclosed.

The terminal, which will be sited on 313,000 square meters of land, will be used for importing, processing and exporting grain. It will be built in two phases with total capacity of 5 million tons annually.

Gulf states are investing heavily in food security as a combination of political and climate factors encourage countries to ensure they have enough essential food supplies in case of an emergency.

“This strategic partnership with Mawani has lasted for over 30 years and is considered one of the key pillars of the food security system in the Kingdom,” Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, minister of environment, water and agriculture and chairman of SALIC, said. “The project aims to enhance the velocity of the main grain influx to Saudi Arabia and is considered the first regional center for grains in the commercial port of Yanbu.”

The Yanbu project will become the first regional center for importing, processing and re-exporting grains, according to Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi transport minister and chairman of Mawani.

“This regional project will support the operational traffic in the Yanbu Commercial Port, attract additional international shipping lines, and increase investment in the logistic services sector which will bring about significant growth in operational traffic,” Al-Jasser said.

The project represents the latest move by the ports authority to develop its infrastructure and better position Saudi Arabia as an international trade hub linking Africa, Asia and the Middle East.


Saudi fund approves $90m agricultural loans

RIYADH: The Saudi Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) has approved more than SR337 million ($90 million) in financial loans, facilities and credit guarantees to support the Kingdom’s agricultural sector.

Munir Al-Sahli, deputy chairman and director general of the ADF, said the loans include a program to support working capital and operational costs in small and medium-sized enterprises.

To mitigate the damage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund also supports the importation of agricultural products as part of the food security strategy through loans directly from the fund, or indirectly in partnership with commercial banks.
Other initiatives include financing the first veterinary camel hospital in Saudi Arabia, shelter projects, broiler chicken production, a dried egg powder factory and the provision of guarantees and financial facilities for feed and animal production companies.

The ADF will continue supporting the agricultural sector to achieve food security in line with the Kingdom’s agricultural policy, he said.


Saudi Arabia opens world’s largest camel hospital

Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal on Sunday inaugurated the world’s biggest camel hospital in Buraidah. The Salam Veterinary Hospital will also have a modern research facility to diagnose diseases related to camels.
The governor said the project worth SR100 million is a national achievement and it will help enhance veterinary facilities in the Kingdom.
Prince Faisal toured the facility’s specialized central laboratories equipped with modern devices to conduct over 160 different types of analyses.
The emir also toured sheds spread over a large area which can accommodate  4,000 riding camels at the same time.
He was briefed on the model for the young camels unit, the ICU, CT scan unit, and the surgical theaters. The hospital is constructed on an area of 70,000 sq. meters.
Among the goals for establishing the hospital is to bring about a shift in embryology and the traditional fertilization process of camels, whose age ranges between 25 to 30 years. At present, they produce seven young camels per season. Additionally, the hospital will contribute to raising the rate of fetal production in camels from 100 fetuses to 700.


UAE to launch hydroponic vertical farming in 2020

With the UAE making strides in agriculture, and now competing globally by marketing fresh local produce, it’s now adding to this by launching a new hydroponic vertical farm.

Set to launch in Q3 of 2020, the vertical farming company Smart Acres will be set up in Abu Dhabi, with an aim to expand across the UAE.

The new systems aims to develop the UAE’s farming capabilities, along with improving food security to potential socioeconomic threats, such as pandemics, and to help business locally source food produce from UAE farms.

The company has designed farm modules using a IoT-based technology system to grow and monitor their produce, a system that consumes less resources and generates ultra-high quality crops.

Smart Acres’ vertical farming method completely reduces water waste, depletion of nutrients in soil and infestation of insects, along with the elimination of any pesticides.

Currently, the company is producing a variety of lettuce and herbs, such as green glace, oakleaf, lollo rosso, and shiso, with plans to eventually grow baby spinach, mature spinach, and baby arugula.

Looking for locally sourced greens and can’t get enough of fresh fruit, vegetable and more? Check out these organic markets to shop at.



  • Desert Gulf Arab states rely on food imports for between 80 percent and 90 percent of local demand
  • Expensive programs to increase food output in the region have in the past struggled to cope with the hot climate and lack of water

    DUBAI: As coronavirus lockdowns crush businesses around the world, high-tech farming projects in the United Arab Emirates are eyeing large growth as authorities plow funds into agritech projects.
    The desert Gulf Arab states, which rely on food imports for 80-90 percent of local demand, have for years spent billions of dollars on agricultural investments outside their borders in a quest for food security.

But as the fast-spreading virus piles pressure on global food supply chains and agricultural producers threaten export curbs, local producers hope they can now play a bigger role.

“Locally farmed produce are now in more demand, whereas food imports are negatively impacted with closure of borders and airports,” Omar Al-Jundi, CEO of Dubai-based vertical farming business Badia Farms, told Reuters.
The facility, which can grow fruits and vegetables, is producing 200-250 kilograms of leafy greens a day.
“The world as we know it has changed forever. From a macro standpoint, governments will go back to localizing certain vital industries, such as agriculture, to ensure supply will never be interrupted.”

Expensive programs to increase food output in the region have in the past struggled to cope with the hot climate and lack of water.
But the Gulf region’s petrodollars put it in a position to take risks with new technologies that are capable of commercializing crops using significantly less water in harsh environments.

The oil-rich UAE capital Abu Dhabi in 2019 approved a series of incentive packages worth 1 billion dirhams ($272 million) to support agricultural technology projects.
In April, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) said it was investing $100 million of that sum in four companies that would build facilities in the emirate, including US-based AeroFarms.

“In some parts of the world people say prove it first then come here but in the UAE there is this mentality of I will do it first and I will do it bigger and better,” said AeroFarms CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg.

AeroFarms is setting up an 8,200 square meter research and development center in Abu Dhabi, the largest indoor vertical farm of its kind, to help bring fresh fruit and vegetables grown in vertical farms to local markets at an affordable price.
Indoor vertical farming, a controlled-environment form of agriculture in which crops are vertically stacked in layers, has been shown by AeroFarms to use up to 95 percent less water for some crops.

“In the US we have been able to bring our costs down to the point where we sell at the same price of field farmers in the category of organics, that is around a 20 percent premium,” he said.

“It is a good litmus test and that is our goal here and I think we can achieve it.”
In many countries around the world, lockdowns have caused an acute shortage of farm labor, meaning millions of tons of fruit and vegetables could be left unpicked this year.
Abu Dhabi emirate produced 122,550 tons of vegetables in the 2018-19 season, according to state media.
ADIO is willing to bet on new technology at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has changed how corporations work due to global containment measures, including lockdowns. The Abu Dhabi program hopes to create an agricultural innovation hub that attracts like-minded companies.
“Will every technology work? Potentially not, but these things feed off each other,” ADIO Director General Tariq Bin Hendi said.

“You look at experiences that we are all going through today with these lockdowns, the one thing that is highlighted is the need for more technology.”



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