Latvia/ Estonia: Pork producers suffer losses due to Russian pork ban

23-05-2012 | |

Pork producers in Latvia and Estonia are suffering serious losses because of the ban on pork exports to Russia.

In 2011 the share of pork exports in these countries has been accounted for about 73% of the total volume of the market. For example, in Latvia in 2011 it exported 16.3 thousand tonnes of live pigs with the total worth 14 million lats US ($28 million) to Russia. 
In the country in 2011, 21.6 thousand tonnes of pork in live weight was produced, thus, the share of export to Russia accounted for about 77% of the Latvian market. A similar situation exists in Estonia, where out of 313 thousand heads of pigs produced in the country a record 200 thousand heads were exported to Russia in 2011. A slightly better situation is currently observed in Lithuania, which is less dependent on exports of pork to Russia.

At the same time, local media reported that fears of a sharp fall in prices due to over production are forcing pork breeders to slaughter their herds. According to experts of the Russian analytical agency Agrorucom, in Estonia for the first half of 2012 the number of pigs can be reduced by 20% compared with the level of mid-2011, in Latvia by 15%, while in Lithuania – only by 7%. 

According to the calculations of statistical services of the EU due to ban on imports of pork in Russia the EU members will lose €75 million (US$ 99 mln) per year, with about 90% of this amount accounting for the Baltic countries. It is predicted that the losses in the pig industry in Estonia, which suffered most from this prohibition, may be about €25 million (US$ 33 mln) per year.
(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)