A city in Tamil Nadu sees an export opportunity in the Russian egg crisis

An egg crisis in Russia could present an opportunity for Namakkal in Tamil Nadu.

Since the escalation of the war between Russia and Ukraine in 2022, India became one of the largest importers of crude oil from Russia. If negotiations between the two countries are successful, Namakkal in Tamil Nadu could well be an answer to the ongoing egg shortage in Russia. Talks are already underway with Russia over egg exports, according to traders in Namakkal, a town near Salem called Egg City that reportedly accounts for 95 percent of India’s table egg exports.

This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a rare apology last month over the egg price hike and shortage. “I apologize for this, but this is a failure of the government’s work… I promise that the situation will be corrected in the near future,” Putin said, according to a Reuters report. A combination of high inflation and Western-imposed sanctions led to the egg crisis, causing prices to rise 42 percent in the past 12 months.

“Russia is facing a huge shortage of eggs and they have been asking for eggs. We need government intervention. If we succeed, Russia will be a huge market for us,” said Vangili Subramaniam, president of Tamil Nadu Egg Poultry Farmers Marketing Society. Currently, Oman, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Qatar and United Arab Emirates are the top five countries to which India exports eggs.

“Russia is not open yet, it is just the beginning stages and it will be a huge amount. We request the government to accelerate the process of joining Russia. There is only dialogue here and there,” said Valsan Parameswaran, secretary of the All India Poultry Products Exporters’ Association (AIPPEA). He added that based on demand in that country, Russia’s need could exceed 50 containers per month.

India exported eggs worth $0.11 million to Russia in April and October, up from $0.01 million a year ago, commerce department data showed. India’s total egg exports have almost doubled to $53.37 million during the first seven months of the current fiscal year. However, experts indicate that exporting eggs to Russia may not be easy for India.

A senior government official said that when it comes to human health, countries, especially Western countries, are sensitive to the quality of the products they choose to import, in the case of eggs, milk, fruits or vegetables, for example. In the case of eggs, there are no export restrictions imposed by India.

“For example, if countries are planning to import a particular food item, they generally contact the concerned government department and request that we check the Indian facilities and then we will see if import-related norms are being met,” the official said. said. “They also ask questions if necessary,” the person added. Standards vary depending on the product and country of export.

Indian egg exports to top five countries in FY24 (April-October)

First print: January 17, 2024 | 5:02 PM IST