Two years on, Belgian breeders and growers still suffer detrimentally at the hands of the Russian embargo regime
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    Two years on, Belgian breeders and growers still suffer detrimentally at the hands of the Russian embargo regime

    © Belga
    Hard times set to continue in Belgian farming exports sector.
    © Belga

    Belgian breeders and growers are continuing to feel the negative effects of the Russian embargo on European food products, two years after the regime’s harsh implementation. The agricultural trade union Boerenbond (which acts to protects farmers interests, similarly to the UK’s National Farmers Union) indicated this on Wednesday.

    This embargo strongly influenced the evolution of numerous product prices.

    This is so to the extent that Russia was a highly significant market for Belgium which, in 2013, was the seventh largest European exporter to Russia. In those properous times, it had exports totalling 281 million euros.

    The Belgian agricultural export products to Russia were apples and pears, pork meat, powdered milk and tomatoes.

    Compared to the previous period predating the embargo, the prices of pears fell by 23.2%, those of apples by 27.7%, pork meat by 19.3%, milk by 36.3% and tomatoes by 23.5%.

    Belgian producers have not been in a position to tap into new markets which would be likely to compensate for the loss of the Russian market.

    Between 2014 and 2016, Belgium exports of apples indeed plummeted by 7.3%, those of pork meat by 2.8% and those of powdered milk by 9.2%.

    Pear exports slightly increased by 0.6%, although selling at significantly lower producer prices.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times