Currently, 75% of the cheese in the refrigerators of Russians is domestically produced cheese. However, the Russia cheese production is expected to grow, noted the spokesperson for Rosselkhozbank.
“There is a significant increase in the domestic production of cheese with further fall in imports of cheese. The quality and volume of raw materials due to the increase in productivity impact on cheese marketing,” said Andrey Dalnov, the Head of the Center for Industry Evaluation of Rosselkhozbank.
He added that the productivity growth depends on enhancement of production technologies and improvement of staff qualification.
According to the spokesperson for the bank, cheese imports help to satisfy the growing demand of Russians for cheese by about a quarter.
Thus, according to Rosselkhozbank, over the past 5 years Russia cheese imports in physical terms has been growing at 10% a year. In 2021, cheese import volumes amounted to 301 thousand tons. In 2021, the major Russia cheese suppliers were Belarus, Argentina, Serbia, Switzerland, Kazakhstan which accounted for 95% of Russia cheese imports.
At the same time, Russia cheese exports significantly increased in 2021 compared to 18.6 per cent increase in 2020 rising to 33.3 thousand tons.
“This is the record volume for Russia. The largest buyers of Russian cheese are Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan,” the bank clarified.
It should be noted that Russia cheese spreads, which are mostly exported, accounted for 35% of the total volume in 2021. Interestingly, Russia has already been an exporter of cheeses such as Mozzarella (4% of total exports in 2021), Camembert, Tilsiter and Brie.
According to preliminary estimates by Rosselkhozbank, in 2021, Russia cheese production amounted to 756 thousand tons.