Russia on August 6 implemented trade restrictions on imports of U.S. poultry. The ban coincides with Russian President Vladimir Putin signing a decree that places restrictions on imports of agricultural products from countries that have imposed economic sanctions on Russia as a result of the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
Although the decree did not specify the products that would be affected, it instructs the Russian government to establish a list of commodities to be restricted, and states that restrictions would be effective for one year. The decree also instructs officials to ensure that restrictions prevent price increases and to establish market-control measures to increase supplies of domestic goods.
In a press release, the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and National Chicken Council (NCC) jointly stated that the groups had learned that poultry from the United States is one of the commodities to be included on the list.
Trade ban’s impact on U.S. poultry industry limited
Russia is the second-leading market for U.S. chicken, according to USAPEEC. In 2013 the U.S. exported about 267,000 metric tons of chicken to Russia valued at $303 million. As its domestic poultry industry has expanded, Russia has in recent years become less important as an export market. Russia currently accounts for only about 7 percent of total U.S. poultry export volume. In the mid-1990s, exports to Russia were as much as 40 percent of that total.
“As a result, we do not expect that a Russian ban on U.S. poultry imports will have a great impact on our industry,” the U.S. organizations stated.
Import restrictions believed to hurt Russians the most
USAPEEC, NCC and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) expressed regret that the Russian government’s decision to impose trade bans for political reasons will most directly affect its own citizens.
“It is unfortunate that the biggest losers in this will be Russian consumers, who will pay more for their food now as well as in the long run,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.
The price of poultry in Russia is already rising and has recently been increasing at a rate of 2 percent to 3 percent per week.
NCC and USAPEEC stated that the organizations look forward to working with the U.S. government to resolve the issue and resume normal trade relations with Russia as soon as possible.