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Netherlands takes hit from Russia import ban - Dutch media

THE HAGUE, August 08, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ban on produce from Western countries has already negatively affected the Netherlands, local media reported on Friday.

Dutch leading financial newspaper Financieele Dagblad said nearly 300 trucks carrying vegetables and fruit from the Netherlands had already been refused entry at the Russian border.

State broadcaster NOS reported a fall in prices at a vegetable wholesale market in the town of Zaltbommel. A trader told NOS television he had bought spinach for 30 euro cents a kilo.

“On Wednesday, the price was 1.10 euros per kilogram,” he was quoted as saying. “No grower can live with that.”

The drop in prices affects not only the produce exported to Russia, NOS said. Other produce, such as cauliflowers, is also suffering.

“There is produce we do not export to Russia but other European countries do,” another buyer told NOS television. “If they cannot sell to Russia, there is saturation of the whole European market and prices fall everywhere.”

On Thursday, Russia announced suspension of billions of dollars in food imports from Norway, Canada, Australia, the United States and the 28-nation European Union in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations in recent weeks.

The ban, targeting all beef, pork, fish, fruit, vegetables and dairy products over the next 12 months, is expected to seriously affect Western economies.

Combined with other import bans imposed earlier this year, the new trade measures cover Western imports worth $9.1 billion in 2013, according to Russian customs data.

The European Union will feel much of the loss. Exports of sanctioned products from the EU to Russia were worth $6.5 billion last year. Norway exported about $1.2 billion in food and agricultural goods to Russia, the United States $843.8 million, Canada $373.6. Australian agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $182 million.