Russian officials report that the country plans to cut its import quotas on pork by 200,000 metric tons and its poultry quota by 300,000 metric tons in 2009.
"We can replace these quantities with our own production," according to Alexei Gordeyev, Russia's
agriculture minister. He made the announcement at a meeting on Monday in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged the government to expedite the process of revising the quotas, reports Reuters. Economy Minister Elvia Nabiullina also told the group during the meeting that a final decision on import quotas should be made by Dec. 1.
This action, along with other countries pulling back on meat and poultry imports due to economic pressures could weigh on U.S. producers. In 2008, Russia allowed 1.21 million metric tons of tariff-free poultry imports to enter its market. The United States supplied 901,400 metric tons of that total. U.S. Pork imports are set at 493,500 metric tons this year and were expected to grow to 502,200 metric tons in 2009. The European Union has the largest share of Russia's pork quotas, Reuters reports.