The largest concern of the domestic swine industry regarding WTO Accession is potentially resurgent import levels of live hogs from Europe after the tariff falls from 40% back to 5% in mid-2012. The tariff was last at 5% in 2009 when Russia imported 1.2 million head. Russia is considering renegotiating a higher tariff immediately upon joining the WTO in anticipation of increased imports in the second half of 2012. Russia has also suggested it will be prepared to use the WTO safeguard mechanism to protect against import surges.
On March 2, 2012, Russia took steps to immediately curb such EU live swine imports by restricting them for alleged veterinary health concerns. Considering such a measure could be seen as inconsistent with Russia’s WTO commitments upon Accession, FAS/Moscow’s forecast assumes live swine trade resumes no later than upon WTO Accession. Pre-Accession trade is estimated at roughly 55-60,000 head per month. Post-Accession trade is estimated at 100,000 head per month.
Aside from finished hog trade, imported breeding stock is gaining in importance. For the first time in recent history in 2011, U.S. companies worked around European transit barriers to export breeding swine to Russia. Non-EU suppliers of breeding swine also include Canada.
Thursday march 8, 2012/ GAIN-USDA/ United States.