September 25, 2003



Russia To Stick To Meat Import Quotas


Russia's Agriculture Ministry remained firm on maintaining present meat import quotas into 2004, a senior ministry official announced Wednesday.


"This instrument (quotas) is necessary and it should continue to be applied," said Pavel Vintovkin, head of the ministry food market regulation department. He added that quota volumes may change by 10 percent but the quotas at large will remain.


Russia imposed meat import quotas this year, citing the need to promote domestic breeding. A quota of 315,000 tonnes for frozen beef imports and 337,500 tonnes for pork was set for the nine months starting from April 1, followed by an additional quota of 11,500 tonnes of fresh and chilled beef from August 1 until the end of 2003.


The poultry quota was set for three years, including 744,000 tonnes for May-December 2003, 1.05 million tonnes for 2004 and 2005 and 306,000 tonnes for January-April 2006.


Under the 2003 poultry quota, Russia will allow 553,500 tonnes from the United States, 139,900 tonnes from the European Union, 33,300 tonnes from Brazil, 3,100 tonnes from China and 14,200 tonnes from other countries.


No allocations for poultry exporting countries have been made so far for the years after 2003.


Importers have complained these quotas limit their possibilities of acquiring poultry at favourable rates. Vintovkin declined to say when a decision on 2004 quotas would be made.
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