My View From The Country

Russia: The Great Bear Is Getting Ready To Growl

Russia has been a great customer for U.S. beef. Now it appears they will become a great competitor.

I just returned from a trip to Russia, and the experience was truly eye-opening. There has been a lot of talk about Russia’s efforts to grow and expand its cattle industry. Russians have been big players procuring both commercial and seedstock genetics from the U.S. and it is a country with vast potential. They are utilizing our best genetics, equipment and technology, and they have our lessons to draw from which allows them to skyrocket forward. At the same time, it is little like the Old West in some regards. The potential to build great empires is there, but there are also significant challenges that must be overcome.

Russia is uniquely positioned to compete in the European and Asian markets, and has tremendous natural resources. The potential is great and there are well funded/capitalized players that are aggressively trying to grow and modernize their industry. We have been trained in the cattle industry to think in terms of having only three major competitors:  North America (Canada and Mexico), South America (primarily Brazil and Argentina) and Australia. In the short-term, Russia will continue to be a great customer, but I suspect at some point we will be adding competitor number 4.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 3

Frank Schlichting (not verified)
on Nov 8, 2013

With all the corruption in Russia it may be a while before they become a big player in the beef export market.

Jim Sturrock11@wigginstel.com (not verified)
on Nov 8, 2013

Don't count on it! With all the Mickey Mouse goings in Washington they'll have ample time.

John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Nov 8, 2013

Do you have any connections in Russia with entrepreneurial types who might be interested in vertical integration with new techniques?
johndykersmd@dykers.com

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contribur Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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