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Saturday, 09 August 2014 04:13

French farmers fear Russian embargo

French farmers fear Russian embargo

French farmers have expressed fear of market saturation following Russia’s ban on the import of agricultural products from the European Union and other countries.

 

France’s state-owned radio RFI quoted Jacques Rouchausse, the president of French vegetable producers, as saying that the embargo will have a serious effect on the country’s fruit and vegetable industry.

“We’re certainly worried for French producers, because France exports 50 thousand tons of fruit and vegetables to Russia,” Rouchausse said.

“Fruit and vegetables are perishable and can’t be stocked for long, so when these products flood the markets, the stock market rates will fall. So we absolutely must shore up the stock market prices. We have to be able to pay producers a decent price otherwise we’re heading for a catastrophe,” he added.

Russia’s import ban will cost the EU, the United States and Canada an estimated collective amount of over $17.5 billion (€13 billion).

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a yearlong curb on agricultural imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Moscow also halted imports of beef products from Romania and live animals from Bulgaria and parts of Greece and Italy. Russia also banned Polish agricultural imports on health grounds last week.

Moscow’s decision came a week after the EU hit Russia with a fresh wave of sanctions, this time including individuals and sectors of the country’s economy, over the crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April.

The fighting has intensified since July 17, when a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 people on board was downed in the Donetsk region with Kiev and pro-Russians accusing each other of being behind the tragedy.

 

MA

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