Russia’s influence on the global pork trade

One British Prime Minister was once quoted as saying that, “a week is a long time in politics”. Right now it seems that a week is a very long time in the global pork trade….. The Russian “adventure” in the Crimea will not bring World War but it will bring uncertainty and, probably, trade disruption – and the world’s pork industry could be in the front line. Even before the Crimea had appeared on CNN in yet another geography lesson for the USA Russia had taken action to ban EU pork imports because of African Swine Fever found in wild boars in Lithuania. The resumption of pork exports to Russia from the EU looks even further away today. Further, all bets are off on a early settlement of Russia’s long-running “racto ban” on US pork and a resumption of US pork exports to Russia doesn’t seem likely whilst senior politicians swap arguments at the UN.  Around 4% of the USA’s pigmeat exports have been looking for a home in the last twelve months since they were denied entry to Russia and a staggering 25% of the EU’s pigmeat exports have lost access to their usual Russian customers. In total that’s about 12% of the global trade in pigmeat that is affected by the actions of Russia.On the wider front, global energy and commodity prices have hiked in a direct reaction to the news from Ukraine – with oil, gas wheat and corn prices all shifting up.  How will farmers, processors, and investors react to all this – and where will all that Russia-destined pork go?