Romanian Dairy Sector Hit by Russia Food Ban

When Russia imposed a one-year embargo on food products from the EU in August, the news caused little stir among Romanian dairy producers as the total value of their exports to Russia was only around 1 million euro per year.

Two months later, they are feeling hard hit by the embargo, as many cheaper EU products have since flooded the Romanian market.

Romania finds itself in the position of not exporting directly to Russia but risking an indirect impact, because products exported from other EU states, like Lithuania or Poland, are entering the Romanian market at dumping prices.

"As a result, sales of dairy products made in Romania declined by 25 per cent in September and October. We are registering losses of millions of euro every month," Dorin Cojocaru, president of the employers union in the dairy industry, said.

"We should consider reduced consumption, owing to the decline in many people's purchasing power, but main reason is higher quantities of products coming from the EU, after the Russian embargo," he added.

Cojocaru said that producers are asking for support measures from the Romanian authorities and the EU as well.

The dairy market is estimated to be worth around 880 million euro a year in Romania.

On August 28, the European Commission announced it would use agricultural funds to help EU producers store butter, skimmed milk powder and cheese, to help diminish the impact of the Russian ban on EU food imports.

But no such help was received yet in Romania, according to local producers.

Romania's Agriculture Minister, Daniel Constantin, on Wednesday said the government would try "to find a solution so that cheaper agriculture products from the EU did not come so easily to Romania". He did not further...

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