December 22, 2003
Brazil Resolving Meat Export Quota Disagreement With Russia
Brazil's foreign minister Celso Amorim is of the view that he will be able to solve his country's dispute with Russia over meat export quotas.
Brazilian officials met with Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov to push for smaller quotas in 2004, which they fear could cost Brazil up to $500 million in trade.
"We have the strong expectation, given willingness shown, that if we enter into technical talks, we can go into more detailed technical terms and find an adequate solution," Brazilian Foreign Minister told reporters after meeting Ivanov in Brasilia.
Russia is a top market for Brazilian pork, beef and chicken. The Latin American nation's trade was cramped this year after Russia imposed quotas on several countries.
Brazil said it would continue talks on the issue between January 19 - 20 when Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues and Trade Minister Luiz Furlan visit Moscow.
Furlan said he was not so confident of a solution after his meeting with Ivanov on Thursday night.
"He gave me a diplomatic answer. He was less assertive than I had hoped," Furlan told reporters.
Ivanov said Brazil and Russia needed to "set up a dialogue" in the new year to address the most important export issues.
"We are going to look for an answer to these issues during Minister Furlan and Minister Rodrigues' visit to Moscow," said Ivanov, in Brazil as part of a Latin American tour.
According to the Brazilian Pork Production and Exportation Industry Association (ABIDECS), in the period between January and November Brazil exported 302,000 tons of pork to Russia or around 65% of its total 464,000 tons in pork exports.
Exports to Russia were down 13% from 2002 in volume terms, according to ABIDECS.