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EU milk may end up in Russia

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More indications Russia is maneuvering around its ban on European dairy products.  In August, Moscow announced a ban on milk, cheese, beef, pork, fruit and vegetables from the European Union, Norway, Australia, Canada and the United States in reaction to those countries’ sanctions over Ukraine.  European milk prices, especially in the U.K. have tumbled since the ban was announced.

Suspicion was raised recently when Belarus imported more than 128,700 metric tonnes of milk and cream from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and France.  Ukraine’s dairy analyst firm DairyInfa says the milk and cream will be used by 15 Belarussian companies to make cheese for export to Russia.

Russia imported 438,500 tonnes of cheese last year with more than half of it coming from the EU.

 

Other countries are looking to fill the void created by the ban: Brazil started selling cheese to Russia last month.  Ecuador, Argentina and Mexico have also expressed interest in doing business with Moscow.

Turkey is looking to pick up some of the Russian business as well.  Turkey has some issues with meeting Russian quality standards but IZMIR news agency says negotiations between Ankara and Moscow are “nearing completion”.  Russia is demanding quality similar to that of the European Union.  Turkey ranks 16th in total milk production and would not be able to meet a lot of Russia’s demand but one Turkish official says “even gaining a five-percent share would be great.”

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