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MOSCOW, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Possible ban on Polish pork imports amid the African swine fever virus (ASFV) risks would not affect the Russian market, the head of the National Meat Association, Sergey Yushin, told Itar-Tass.
“Neither Poland nor Lithuania are of any significance as pork suppliers to Russia,” he said.
For example, over 10 months of 2013 Polish products accounted for about 3.5% of Russia-imported pork (18,000 tons), 3% of by-products (2,400 tons) and 5% of fatback (10,000 tons). Lithuania supplied only 2,500 tons, or 0.5% of Russia’s total imports over the same period.
Meanwhile, Germany that has a long border with Poland is one of the chief pork importers to Russia, Yushin added. Over ten months of 2013 the country supplied 68,000 tons of pork (14% of the total imports), 16,000 tons of by-products (20%) and 62,000 tons of fatback (29%).
Over January - November 2013 Russia imported a total of 493,400 tons of pork, 80,300 tons of by-products and 215,500 tons of fatback, less imports from Belarus. In the same period Russia’s own industrial pork production increased 26% year-on-year, or by 1.66 million tons.
Market interests should not affect the veterinary authority’s decision, Yushin believes.
“We’d better stay on the safe side and cease the problem as soon as possible rather than hush it up as it apparently likely happened in Lithuania,” he said adding accusations of starting a trade war were unfounded.
“Previously we were fighting the internal threat,” Yushin said. “Now that ASFV cases have been recorded in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland, we still have seen no serious international efforts to fight the disaster.”
Earlier on Monday the head of the Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergey Dankvert, told Itar-Tass about the upcoming ASFV negotiations with the European Union, where Russia was planning to raise the issue of ASFV outbreaks in Poland.
Earlier in January Russia imposed a ban on pork imports from Lithuania, which had also recorded cases of wild boar die-off from the dangerous virus.