Customs union may raise EU pork imports
A recent agreement signed by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus on the establishment of a customs union and increased tariffs may have a negative impact on the EU live pigs market, provide an incentive to increase exports of the EU pork to Russia instead of live animals.
The customs union was formally created on 1 January 2010, although the final settlement of specific issues is still underway. The three countries have established a common level of tariffs in trade with third countries, increasing the current live pigs import duties from 5 percent to 40 percent, except for clean bred breeding animals which rates will remain near zero.
Currently Russia remains one of the primary destinations for the European live pigs, especially Polish. According to preliminary data of the Ministry of Finance in 2009, exports from the Eastern European country amounted to 274 thousand animals with a total weight of 30.8 thousand tonnes. It is almost two-thirds of total exports of Polish pigs abroad.
(By Evegen Vorotnikov)