Russia to Extend Food Embargo to Ukraine

This week Russian officials announced plans to extend the country’s food import embargo to include imports from Ukraine beginning Jan. 1, 2016. The embargo currently applies to most food products from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway.

If the embargo is extended to include Ukraine, it will further impact pork trade in the region as Ukraine has emerged this year as one of Russia’s leading pork suppliers. Through August, Ukraine’s pork/pork variety meat exports to Russia totaled 19,042 metric tons (mt) – up from just 862 mt during the same period last year and accounting for nearly 90 percent of Ukraine’s total exports.

Russian import data (through September) show similar growth from Ukraine (20,788 mt, +2,146 percent), making Ukraine its second-largest pork supplier behind Brazil (160,817 mt, +39 percent). Russia’s total pork/pvm imports are down 25 percent from a year ago to 224,262 mt, with Chile (17,634 mt, +35 percent), Serbia (10,858 mt, +26 percent) and China (4,635 mt, none in 2014) rounding out its top five suppliers.

On a related note, news reports suggest that European Union leaders are likely to extend the EU’s economic sanctions against Russia when they meet at a mid-December summit. The sanctions were originally imposed in 2014 and are set to expire in January.

Data source: Global Trade Atlas