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Russia may reduce pork import quota

Russia agricultural minister has said that the country may reduce its pork and poultry import quotas by hundreds of thousands of tonnes.

"It is time to change the quota regime and reduce imports, which have unfortunately built up in recent years," said Alexei Gordeyev, reported ITAR-Tass. "Agreements, signed more than three years ago as part of the negotiations on WTO accession, are unfortunately no longer in Russia's interests," he added.

The US Meat Export Federation lists Russia as the fourth largest export market for US pork. From January to end June 2008, US pork exports to Russia totalled 75,730 million tonnes, which is an increase of 143% in volume compared to the first half of 2007.

CEO of Smithfield Foods, C. Larry Pope, cited Russia as a key growing market that has helped boost the company's fresh pork sales. At a time when there is a large domestic supply of pork, strong and growing exports have been critical to keeping US pork prices afloat.

Related websites:
• US Meat Export Federation (USMEF)
• World Trade Organization (WTO)
• Smithfield Foods

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