Russia’s suspension of pork imports from the European Union has now lasted more than six months. The Russian market, which is traditionally the largest destination for EU pork exports, closed on Jan. 30 due to findings of African swine fever (ASF) in EU member states Lithuania and Poland.

The World Trade Organization recently announced that it is moving forward with a dispute settlement panel to address this impasse, but it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

As U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Economist Erin Borror explains, this situation is having an impact on global pork trade that extends well beyond the Europe-Russia region. Despite the loss of the Russian market, EU exports worldwide are down only about 2 percent from a year ago as volumes shipped to key Asian markets – including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines – have increased significantly.

Borror also notes that European pork is much more price-competitive than it has been in the recent past, and European suppliers are capitalizing on tighter global pork supplies resulting from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).