November 7, 2011
Russia reopens market to Paraguayan beef exports
Russian has lifted the temporary restrictions imposed on Paraguayan beef, lamb, pork and dairy products, according to notification sent by the Russian authorities to Paraguay's Animal Quality and Health National Service (SENACSA).
The note added that restrictions will remain on produce originating from the northern Paraguayan department of San Pedro, which was the source of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in September.
This decision comes after a series of health inspections on Paraguay by Russian as well as international quality assessors, including the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
According to the president of the Paraguayan Meats Industry Chamber, Mari Llorens, the crisis has cost the country approximately US$70 million per month.
Russia is one of the main destinations for Paraguayan beef exports, accounting for some 800,000 tonnes of beef per year.
The notification will be a major boost for those directly and indirectly employed by the beef export industry, including the meatpacking industry, analysts said.
Produce from San Pedro remains under restriction, but the extent to which this will be enforced, given Paraguay's somewhat lax controls on state boundaries, remains to be seen, experts said.
More broadly, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil may also now follow Russia's lead in lifting restrictions on Paraguayan beef, which would allow the export of beef out of landlocked Paraguay, analysts added.