Russian Meat Imports Grow Following WTO Accession04 March 2013
RUSSIA - After Russia’s WTO accession in August 2012, tariffs fell in accordance with accession agreements, though WTO tariff changes will not be fully implemented until 2014-2015. Accession, did however, motivate increased importation to Russia in the months following Russia’s WTO entrance, according to Emily Balsamo from the Moscow Office of Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
In October 2012, some 71,000 tonnes of pork (frozen, cooled and fresh) was imported to Russia.
This represented a rise of 37 per cent on the same month in 2011.
As for 1 November 2012 pork imports for the first 10 months of the year were five per cent higher at 578,000 tonnes.
This compares to a drop of two per cent in the eight months leading to accession.
Beef imports in October were marginally higher at 59,700 tonnes with imports 18 per cent over the September to October period compared to a year earlier.
For the year to the end of October total beef imports were two per cent higher at 522,000 tonnes.
A Russian agricultural analyst made the following statement regarding the impact of WTO accession on Russian imports: “The effect of the WTO can be traced quite clearly, especially in terms of pork imports. The November figure is 21 per cent higher than the level of 2011, and the rate of September-December 2012 is 30 per cent higher than that of 2011…. It is likely that these statistics will soon become reason to review Russia’s membership in the WTO with respect of import quotas for meat.”