MOSCOW, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Russian meat producer Cherkizovo reported higher first-quarter poultry and pork sales and forecast prices would pick up later in the year amid rising consumption and reduced imports.
First-quarter sales volume of poultry rose 15 percent, pork by 5 percent and processed meat by 8 percent.
Cherkizovo said on Thursday it sold products at higher prices in dollar terms but rouble poultry prices fell 5 percent on the previous quarter due to high imports at the end of last year, which boosted inventories.
"We anticipate the pricing environment for our products to recover towards the second half of the year," chief executive Sergei Mikhailov said.
This forecast was supported by expected growth in meat consumption, reduced imports and rising costs resulting from grain price increases, as well as by a shortage of supply driven by the reduction of stock, he said.
"We are making solid progress in our large-scale projects to increase poultry capacity, and this is already reflected in our sales volumes for the poultry division, and we are on track to provide significantly higher output from 2011."
First-quarter sales volume in the poultry division rose 15 percent to 53,570 tonnes of saleable weight, with pork up 5 percent to 20,220 tonnes.
"The pork division is delivering its volume growth in line with expectations, including operations at the acquired farms, while demand for our meat processing products has also remained strong," Mikhailov said.
The meat processing division's sales volumes rose 8 percent to 33,200 tonnes.
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