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Improved Market Access Into Russia

02 June 2010

NEW ZEALAND - Meat & Wool New Zealand (M&WNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) say the prospect of improved market access in the Russian market offers exciting opportunities for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and industry.

Responding to news of preliminary talks to scope a Free Trade Agreement with Russia, the two organisations said this could provide a real advance in New Zealand’s ability to trade with Russia.

MIA Chairman, Bill Falconer said while Russia is currently a relatively small market for the New Zealand red meat industry, it is a country that has a substantial population of red meat consumers with growing incomes and the potential to support significant market growth.

Over the last five years, the New Zealand red meat industry’s exports to Russia have been around $30 million annually, mainly consisting of sheepmeat and beef offals.

Exports peaked at $56 million in 2008 before the impact of the global financial crisis softened Russian demand for imported meat last year.

M&WNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said that while Russian imports of red meat have been volatile recently, the expectation is that Russian demand for red meat will continue to increase and that a significant proportion of this increased demand will have to be met by imports.

Mr Petersen said the arrangement with Russia would be significant if it provided genuine improved access into the market.

“This development is important because it’s not just about eliminating tariffs, but also addressing non-tariff barriers that restrict trade.”



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