The protein markets took a hard hit on Friday when Russia announced that it was banning some imports of U.S. pork and beef due to a paperwork technicality.
The announcement, specifically, is that Russia would require the U.S. to certify that all pork and beef shipments are free of the controversial feed additive ractopamine, which is widely fed to U.S. swine and cattle to produce leaner meat. Because the USDA does not have a program in place to provide such proof, it would essentially halt all imports of U.S. product.
Northern Ag Network spoke with Joe Schuele, a spokesman for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, on Monday. Listen to what he had to say in the News in Agriculture program.
Schuele says that from January through September of 2012, exports to Russia were worth $242 million for beef and $209 million for pork.
The ban from Russia has been criticized by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. They also challenge that this could be in violation of Russia’s obligations under the World Trade Organization.
© Northern Ag Network 2012