Russia plans to cut 2009 pork import quotas
Russia plans to cut 2009 import quotas on pork by
200,000 tonnes, the agriculture minister announced, as Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin urged the government to speed up reform.
"We can replace these quantities with our own
production," Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said at a government meeting
in response to a question from Putin.
The long-awaited quota reduction is
designed to help domestic producers and could hit suppliers in the United
States. Russia, under an agreement that runs from 2005 until 2009, limits meat
imports through a system of tariff quotas that increase every year.
Putin urged the government to speed up the process of revising the
quotas. Economy Minister Elvia Nabiullina told the same meeting that a decision
on the import quota cuts should be taken by Dec. 1.
This year, Russia
permitted 1.21 million tonnes of tariff-free poultry imports, of which the
United States can supply 901,400 tonnes. In August, Moscow banned imports from
19 U.S. producers, including three plants belonging to Tyson Foods, citing
health and safety grounds.
Pork imports are set at 493,500 tonnes this
year and were due to rise to 502,200 tonnes in 2009. The European Union has the
largest share of the quotas. Source: Reuters
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