Eastern Europe10 October 2002
Azerbaijan An Azeri government official says that livestock numbers in Azerbaijan this year are likely to rise by 3-5% compared with 2001, according to the Arminfo news agency. Bulgaria Bulgaria's Agriculture Ministry reported in early September that traces of 'blue tongue' disease had been recorded in blood samples taken from cattle at farms in the Blagoevgrad district in south-western Bulgaria and in the southern Smolyan district, according to the Bulgarian Telegraphic Agency. The movement of livestock in these regions was banned with immediate effect. Daily checks of sheep were being made at farms along the Bulgarian side of the border with Greece. A recent meeting between Bulgarian and Macedonian officials in Sofia agreed to add livestock to the list of goods bilaterally traded and exempt from customs duties. Bilateral trade in livestock is worth several tens of thousands of dollars each year. CIS The volume of cattle and poultry sold for slaughter in the Commonwealth of Independent States in the first quarter of this year was 3% higher than in the same period last year, according to the Interfax news agency. The highest year-on-year increase in volumes of 9% was recorded in Armenia, with a 6% year-on-year fall in Belarus. Czech Republic The Czech Statistical Office has reported that the number of cattle on farms in the Czech Republic as of March 31 this year was 1.49 million, a fall of 1.4% compared with the number at the same date in 2001, according to the CTK news agency's Business News. The total number was also 1.5% lower than the number recorded at the end of last year. Sales of slaughter cattle in the first quarter of this year were 10.8% higher year-on-year at 53,000 tonnes. The Czech Ministry of Agriculture has said that most cattle farms in the Czech Republic affected by the country's severe floods in mid-August are insured against such events. The Ministry is expected to provide compensation to farmers for flood damage. Kazakhstan Officials from the Tyumen region in northern Russia offered to export livestock to Kazakhstan during a visit by a delegation from the North Kazakhstan oblast (region) in late August, according to the KazAAG news agency. The Aktyubinsk region in Kazakhstan is looking to substantially increase its cattle production, according to Kazakhstan Pravda. However, local officials note that a lack of finance is restricting the development of this production. In order to overcome this problem, the regional government and local banks are working together to provide credits with low interest rates to farms. The Aktyubinsk region covers no less than 30 million hectares. Kyrgyzstan Officials from Kyrgyzstan and China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Republic discussed the possible creation of livestock processing joint ventures in Kyrgyzstan during talks in Urumchi in the Chinese republic in early September, according to the Kabar news agency. Lithuania Lithuania's Statistical Office has reported that Lithuania exported livestock and livestock products worth 354 million litas (US$1 = 3.9 litas) in the first half of this year, a fall of 5.9% compared with the same period in 2001. Lithuanian livestock and livestock products imports were worth 223 million litas, a year-on-year fall of 19.4%. Livestock purchases in Lithuania in the first seven months of this year were 8.1% higher than in the same period in 2001, according to the LETA news agency. Purchases in July this year were 10.2% lower than in June. Russia BISNIS, part of the US Department of Commerce, Washington DC, has reported that the Primorye Krai (district) in Russia's far east produced livestock worth 2.56 billion roubles (US$1 = 33 roubles) in 2001, a fall of 8% compared with the previous year. At the start of 2002, there were 99,300 head of livestock on farms in Primorye, including 54,700 head of cattle. Russia's Agriculture Ministry has reported that Russian farms had a total of 29.8 million head of cattle as of June 1 this year, a fall of 0.3% compared with the same date last year, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. The production of livestock and poultry for slaughter in the first five months of this year totalled 2.4 million tonnes liveweight, a year-on-year rise of 3.7%. Tajikistan The number of cattle at private farms in Tajikistan accounted for 87% of total cattle numbers in the country in 2001, compared with 86% in 2000 and 85% in 1999, according to the Interfax news agency. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service has reported that the United States imported livestock hides and skins worth US$10,000 from Tajikistan in the first quarter of this year. This figure is the highest since at least 1970. There were no such imports in the first quarter of last year. Turkmenistan Turkmenmallary, the livestock breeding co-operative in Turkmenistan's Lebap province, says it plans to increase local livestock numbers to 2.6 million head by 2005, according to the Turkmen Dowlet Habarlar Gullugy news agency. This figure will represent a five-fold increase as compared with the current number of livestock. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan's State Statistics Committee has reported a 12% year-on-year increase in the national cattle population in the first-half of this year. President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan has said that the number of cattle in Turkmenistan in the first half of this year increased by 14% year-on-year to over 2 million, according to the Interfax news agency. The number of sheep increased by 22% to 14.08 million.