August 8, 2014
Russia’s ban on U.S. agricultural products would be costly to U.S. agriculture but will also hurt Russian citizens, says a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.
The ban could have a significant impact on Texas, according to Luis Ribera, AgriLife Extension international trade economist in College Station.
The proposed ban is in retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Russia and its war with Ukraine. It’s unclear on how the restrictions will be applied.
Ribera said the value of U.S. food and agricultural exports to Russia is $1.3 billion annually, which accounts for 10 percent of all exports.
But U.S. agriculture will not be the only casualty. Russia’s economy will take a hit, too.
Ribera said the ban could lead to rising food prices and increased inflation rate.
“Russia had an inflation rate of 7.9 percent during the first half of 2014,” he said. “Food prices have the potential to go way up as result of this ban. The issue there is this will hurt their own people as 40 percent of their total food supply is imported.”
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Meat products will take a blow in Texas. “In Texas, beef is a big export item and poultry is important, particularly dark meat items,” he said. “Texas also produces some soybeans and horticultural crops, so those industries could be affected.”
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service, poultry is the primary U.S. export to Russia at 25 percent valued at $323 million; oilseed, $186 million; farm machinery, $185 million; and live animals valued at $149 million.
Russia is also the fifth-largest export market for U.S. pork and the eighth-largest export market worldwide for U.S. beef, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.
“There will be a ripple effect among all industries, everything from shipping and transportation to retailers,” he said. “There will be a multiplier in there, so the potential economic impact could be significant.”
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