WTO membership to spur pork imports to Russia

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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MOSCOW – Russia's pork producers fear pork imports to Russia may triple because membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) would likely discourage investment in the industry, according to a Bloomberg report.

A spokesman for the National Pig Breeders' Union said Russia's pig-breeding industry may lose at least 20 billion rubles ($662 million) under the terms of WTO membership. He added that domestic pork production will decline starting in 2014. The industry’s low profitability will deter investment and output at small private farms and households will be uncompetitive, he said.

Inbound shipments of the meat in 2011 were about 620,000 metric tons, or 20 percent of local consumption, according to data from the union. The group is predicting pork imports to Russia will increase to about 1.8 million tons in 2020, meeting as much as 45 percent of local demand.

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