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Belarus' dairy export up 21.5% in H1

In H1 2013 Belarus’ export of milk and dairy products increased by 21.5% from the same period last year, BelTA learned from the press service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Belarus’ export of milk and dairy products accounts for 38% of the total export of agricultural products and foodstuffs. In January-June this year Belarus earned more than $1 billion on the export of these products (1.8 million tonnes). According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, this is up 35.8% as against the same period a year earlier.

“The result is due to both an increase in the volume of export of dairy products and the increase in international prices. In H1 2013 the export of milk and dairy products in monetary terms increased by 35.8%, in natural terms by 21.5%,” said the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. In January-June, the export of skimmed milk powder accounted for 93.7% of its total production, dry whole milk for 90.5%, concentrated milk - 94.6%, butter - 72.3%, cheese and cottage cheese - 77.9%.

Belarus' main trading partner is Russia, accounting for more than 95% of the total export of milk and dairy products. According to the National Statistics Committee, in H1 2013 Belarus exported 1.7 million tonnes of milk and dairy products to Russia, which was up 22.1%. The main consumers of dairy products in Russia are retail networks and processing companies.

The supply and demand projections of the Union State were beaten by 6%, the ministry noted. In terms of certain products, this figure ranges from 83% to 151%. Exceeding the pre-agreed quantities for a number of products was due to the high demand in Russia, the ministry explained.

The ministry also noted that the domestic demand for milk and dairy products is satisfied in full by domestic producers. The list of imported products is short, mostly yogurts and cheeses in small amounts. "The main suppliers of imported products are Russian companies. Belarus does not import milk raw materials in raw or processed form,” the Office explained.

In January-June 2013 Belarus’ dairy imports from Russia totaled 27,500 tonnes, those from third countries reached 5,000 tonnes.

According to the Agriculture and Food Ministry, dairy products are liable to inspection, and their import to the Customs Union is possible only with the permits issued by the authorized bodies of the Customs Union member states. “All permits in Belarus and Russia are issued by the unified electronic system Argus and can be easily tracked by the competent bodies of both the parties. The system monitors the amount of the imported goods as well as the country of origin,” the ministry added.

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