The European Union (EU) launched a case against Russia at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Tuesday, contesting the Russian ban on the imports of fresh pork meat and pig products from the bloc. Russia closed its borders to the products in January, after its phytosanitary authorities found traces of African swine fever in samples of boar meat.
The losses to European producers are one of drivers behind the European case at the WTO, since nearly 25% of all EU exports are directed to Russia. The EU had attempted to solve the impasse during bilateral negotiations, but its offer of excluding exports from the affected area was rebuffed by Russian negotiators.
An opportunity for Brazilian producers
The EU/Russia dispute could be beneficial for Brazilian producers of pork meat, according to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA). Russia is already the largest importer of Brazilian pork meat, responsible for 29.77% of all exports in the month of March, and has indicated that it might increase its purchases. “Russia has informed us last week that it has green-lighted another production facility from Rio Grande do Sul state”, said Eduardo Saldanha Vargas, ABPA vice-president.