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Brazil starts dairy exports to Russia

September 24, 2014, 10:21 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
The total number of Brazilian companies that have received the right to export dairy and meat products to the Russian market has exceeded 130
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© AP Photo/Maurilio Cheli

RIO DE JANEIRO, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Three Brazilian companies have received permission documents for the export of dairy products to Russia, and one of them has already launched the supplies, secretary for international affairs of the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry Marcelo Junqueira told reporters on Wednesday.

According to him, just two months ago, the “export of dairy products” did not exist in Brazilian-Russian trade documents.

The official said the “total number of Brazilian companies that have received the right to export meat and other products to the Russian market has exceeded 130 after 89 companies were added to the list in August.”

Brazil’s delegation, comprising government officials and representatives of 37 private companies has taken part in the World Food Moscow food and drinks exhibition in September. “Contracts worth $106 million were concluded there (with Brazilian businessmen), however, it must be taken into account that many companies prefer not to disclose the agreements for commercial secrecy reasons,” Junqueira said.

Cooperation between Russia and Latin American countries

Russia introduced a package of measures on August 7 in response to sanctions of the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway, banning for one year the import of fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products from these countries. According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, the total imports of “banned” food from the five countries accounted for $9.1 billion in 2013. Under these circumstances, Latin American exporters, in particular, have the advantage: all trade negotiations of the past decade between the EU and MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market of Latin American states) around the mutual access to the markets had many contradictions, and now the access to European markets is not so much needed by Latin American states.

Argentina sees good prospects for boosting the sales of cheese, butter and skimmed milk to Russia. Mexico is ready to export pork and beef to Russia. Ecuador intends to supply agricultural produce.

Expert of the Brussels consulting group Hemicycle Jason Pratt said the EU's chances to block agricultural exports from Latin America to Russia are equal to zero. Serious economic arguments are needed to make the region refuse the extremely advantageous market, Pratt told ITAR-TASS earlier in an interview. The EU should offer an alternative deal to these countries that would be more profitable than the multibillion long-term proceeds from the foothold on the Russian market. It is impossible to invent such a deal, the expert said.

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