Russia’s dispute with the US over ractopamine might give a boost to Brazilian exporters, Russian officials have said.
Sergei Dankvert, head of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, Rosselkhoznadzor, said Brazil could increase meat exports to Russia by as much as 20% in 2013. He added that other South American countries, particularly Uruguay and Paraguay, should also expect a rise in the volume of meat purchased by Russian companies.
“In 2012, Brazilians supplied us with 420,000 tonnes of meat, but they can certainly deliver more,” Dankvert said. “Currently, we are not buying meat from the US, so we should replace it on the market. If the situation with the US does not change for a long time, Brazilians can increase the level of [meat] supplies by about 20%.”
Dankvert also pointed out that while Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on Brazilian meat in the past, a “complete ban on imports of Brazilian meat was never introduced.” Currently 37 Brazilian slaughterhouses have the right to export meat to the Customs Union, comprising Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. However, since Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), it has come under pressure to make new lists of exporters and Brazil’s list could be expanded as a result.
Brazilian exporters would be required to ensure meat exports are free of ractopamine, which is used as a growth promoter in livestock. “The [Russian] requirements for all countries are currently the same,” said Dankvert.
However, Brazilian meat producers have already expressed their willingness to ensure they can supply ractopamine-free meat in the necessary quantities. Commenting on a recent visit to the country by Russian officials, Dankvert said: “We have emphasised that we will not change the right of access to the Russian market. Following inspection and checks, there will be the same access as there was.”
Dankvert said Brazil will face competition from other South American countries. “If Paraguay and Uruguay do not use ractopamine then they also will receive benefits [on the Russian market],” he explained.