During the first five months of 2023, Russian feed additive imports plummeted by 45% compared with the previous year to 50,000 tonnes, Russian think-tank Feedlot estimates.
Deliveries of lysine HCl dropped by 65%, betaine by 47% and threonine by 16%. At the same time, imports of vitamin C jumped by 30%, while supplies of vitamins B2, B5, B9, arginine and isoleucine are believed to have soared, Feedlot argues.
Lyubov Savkina, general director of Feedlot, said the figures need to be taken with a pinch of salt. She explained that the fluctuation is primarily attributed to the high base effect, as in H1 2022, Russian businesses stocked up with feed additives, anticipating supply disruptions and price turbulence.
"It would be wrong to see [these figures] as a drop in demand. The supplies simply returned to the normal level," Savkina said, adding that the list of the largest suppliers changed, with 86% of feed-grade amino acids and 83% of feed vitamins coming from China, plus substantial quantities are now shipped from Belarus. It is unlikely that Russian companies will stock up on feed additives in the foreseeable future, which means no sharp fluctuations are expected, she added.
Sergey Mikhnyuk, executive director of the Russian National Feed Union (NFU), said he could not confirm Feedlot's estimates, suggesting that fluctuations in the supply could be associated with carryover stocks accumulated last year in the period of the currency exchange turbulence. In the case of lysine, he added, a gradual decline in imports makes sense in light of the import-replacement campaign carried out by the Russian authorities and businesses in this field.
"Feed additives consumption definitely has not declined," Mikhnyuk said.
Moreover, the range of feed additives available in the Russian market tends to grow. Mikhnyuk unveiled that the NFU negotiated with the Russian regulators to expand the list of feed additives allowed for import to the country by 51 items since 17 July. Currently, 456 feed additives from 83 suppliers are permitted for import into the country. The NFU agreed with the regulators to come up with suggestions on feed additives to be allowed on the domestic market every six months.