A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

The Russian ban on European pork: A ticking time bomb?

February 17, 2014


The relations between Brussels and Moscow are most definitely strained, due to the EU’s implication in the Ukrainian crisis, the tensed EU/Russia Summit on January 28 in Brussels, and since February 4, the ruling of a Russian embargo on European pork meats following the January 24 findings of two cases of Lithuanian wild boars suffering from African swine fever.

Following the October 7, 2013 Russian ban on diary product imports from Lithuania, a crucial segment of the agro-food industry is now hit. Worse even, the ban not only concerns Lithuania but the whole European Union as well.

Russia attracts 25 percent of all European pork product exports, mostly from The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, for a total annual amount of €1.4 billion. Since the implosion of the USSR, Russian imports of pork meats have soared, and Europe has replaced Brazil as Russia’s largest supplier since 2009.

With a third of their business in pork meat exports, French slaughterhouses urged the European Commission to meet the Russian health authorities’ demands in order to end the embargo. “A single outbreak of African swine fever on one wild boar in Lithuania leads to the exclusion of 28 EU member-states from the Russian market, our leading client with over 800,000 tons of pork meats exported yearly for over €1 billion!” frets the SNIV-SNCP, the French union of meat processing businesses. The Brittany Regional Pork Commission (CRP) has already asked European authorities “to respond to support the pork industry by activating market intervention instruments, such as private reserves and restitution.”

Beyond health reasons and known or unknown political motivations, the Russian decision weakens not only the fragile political balance between Moscow and Brussels but also further adds opacity to an already unstable economic sector.

The usual Moscow stop-and-go policy can bleed markets dry, as was the case during the 2010-grain embargo, and create an economic turmoil whose scope cannot yet be assessed. As of February 8, the trend for pork prices has dropped, while they were leaning upward only 10 days before. What could prevent a future sharp and fatal price reversal in these complex futures markets if the embargo were to last?

Now more than ever, global agricultural markets require the implementation of pertinent governance and regulation principles to prevent unilateral and uncoordinated decisions by nations such as Russia.


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Paris, 18 December 2018