Russia bans foreign food imports
IN response to sanctions imposed by the US and European Union last week, Russia is banning foreign imports of a number of foodstuffs.
Amongst the banned foods include cheese, beef, fruit, pork, vegetables, dairy products and fish from the US, Canada, EU, Australia and Norway.
The announcement came from the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev after a cabinet meeting on Thursday. According to the Guardian, Medvedev said the ban was effective immediately and would continue for twelve months.
The move by Russia was taken after the budget airline subsidiary of Russian airline, Aeroflot, was grounded as a result of EU sanctions over Russia’s support for rebels in Ukraine.
The ban could have a serious impact on Europe; Russia is its second-largest market and in 2013 food and raw material exports to Russia were worth 12.2 billion euros.
Last year the UK’s largest export to Russia was £17 million of frozen fish; as such the ban could also have a serious impact on this sector.
Until the ban, Russia also imported 160,000 tonnes of salmon annually. To put this in perspective, this is 40,000 tonnes more than is produced in the whole of Scotland.
Eighty per cent of the salmon eaten in Russia comes from Norway, and the announcement has had an immediate impact on the share prices of the major producers.
The share price of Marine Harvest fell by 5.8 per cent, Cermaq’s dropped by 3.4 per cent, SalMar’s by 3.3 per cent. Faroese salmon farmer Bakkafrost also saw its share price drop.