Last month, Russia announced it was extending the list of agricultural products banned from import under the politically motivated ban first implemented in August 2014. According to AHDB, imports restricted under this ban now include live pigs (except purebred breeding animals), pork fat as well as several other types of edible by-products.
For pig products, trade had originally been banned under a separate ruling from February 2014, officially for sanitary reasons. However, this was declared illegal in August last year, and an appeal was turned down in February 2017. In theory, Russia should have withdrawn the ban and allowed trade to resume, although this has not been the case. Up until the recent amendment, while pork imports would have still been prevented under the wider agri-food ban, trade in live pigs, offal and pig fat theoretically could have taken place had the ban been removed.
With this ban on agri-food products now extended until at least the end of 2018, it seems Russia intends to remain closed as an export destination for a while yet. In fact, Russian domestic production is expanding rapidly, and the country has its eyes set on becoming a global exporter. For more in-depth analysis on the Russian pig meat industry, click here.