Russian ban has ‘minimal’ impact on UK meat

Russia has banned meat imports from the EU, as well as the USA, Canada and Norway, but the move will have “minimal” impact on UK exports.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting that the country will ban imports of meat, fish, milk, dairy, fruit and vegetable imports from the USA, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Reuters reported.

Despite breaking a deal which would see British beef exported to Russia last September, the move is thought to have “minimal” impact on British meat, according to red meat body Eblex. Since September no beef has yet been exported to the country as companies abstained from importing to Russia to see what might unfold.

Guy Attenborough, director of corporate communications & legal services at AHDB, explained Russia's beef imports from the EU: "Russia does represent the largest single export market for EU beef, but the volumes are extremely small in terms of overall EU production (17,000 tonnes in Jan-May, 26% of total exports, but much less than 1% of production),  therefore it is unlikely to have much impact on the EU market as a result. At most, it could cause a delay to prices recovering from their recent falls."

Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland also added that the ban would have little impact on the Scottish market: “The recent Russian ban on EU imports will not directly impact Scottish red meat producers as Scotland currently does not export red meat to Russia.

“It remains to be seen what effect, if any, the restrictions that Russia has imposed on other countries will have on the European market.”

This was also echoed by Bpex, Britain's pork levy board, which explained that there was currently no British pork exported to Russia.

British lamb did have access into Russia, but Eblex told that, due to small demand for the product, little business was being made.

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