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Russia’s Cattle Numbers Fall In 2009, Pigs Rise

Russia’s cattle numbers fell further last year despite the country’s attempts to stop the decline, but Moscow was more successful in raising its pig population, official data showed Jan. 26.

By the end of December 2009, cattle numbers totalled 20.7 million, down 1.5 per cent from 2008, data from the Federal State Statistics Service showed.

Because of the country’s unsuccessful attempts to stop cattle numbers falling, the government has decided to increase tariff quotas it uses to regulate imports.

The frozen beef quota was raised to 530,000 tonnes this year from 450,000 tonnes in 2009 and the fresh and refrigerated beef quota to 30,000 tonnes from 29,500 tonnes.

Russia’s pig population rose 6.7 per cent last year to 17.3 million. In 2008, data showed a 1.2 per cent rise from the 2007 volumes.

To support domestic pig breeders, the Russian government raised in 2009 a tariff on pork shipped above a tariff quota it uses to regulate imports to 75 per cent from 40 per cent.

But it increased the quota to 532,900 tonnes from 502,200 tonnes in 2008.

From this year, the government has raised a tariff on live pig imports to 40 per cent from five per cent. The quota was cut to 472,000 tonnes but introduced a separate quota on pork trimmings of 27,900 tonnes.

Russia’s sheep and goat numbers rose 2.7 per cent in 2009 to 21.9 million head, the FSSS data showed.

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