Austrian Agricultural Exports Hit by Russian Sanctions Aug. 19, 2014
The Russian import sanctions on agricultural products announced on August 6, 2014, which impose an immediate year-long ban on most agricultural imports from the EU and other countries, will have a significant impact on Austrian agricultural exports.
The Russian Federation, after the United States and Switzerland, is the most important agricultural export market for Austria outside the European Union. In 2013, Austrian agricultural and food products valued at about 240 million Euros were exported to Russia. This is about 2.6 percent of the total Austrian agricultural exports, which reached 9.3 billion Euros. The most important commodities of Austrian agricultural exports to Russia belong to the category “food preparations nesoi” (export value in 2013: 23.6 million Euros). This category includes mainly food preparations and ingredients for the food processing industry such as yeast, seasonings, food concentrates, glucose and lactose syrups, and broths. Other important products for Austrian exports to Russia include meat and meat products (export value in 2013: 49 million Euros), dairy and dairy products (export value in 2013: 13 million Euros), and fruits and vegetables (export value in 2013: 2.5 million Euros). It is estimated that the value of Austrian products included in the sanctions account for about 102 million Euros (more than 40 percent of total Austrian agricultural exports to Russia).
Representatives of Austrian agriculture are highly concerned about the Russian import bans of European Union agricultural and food products. In reaction to Russia’s retaliatory sanctions, the Austrian Minister of Agriculture, Andrae Rupprechter requested the Italian EU-Presidency to call for a special meeting of EU agricultural ministers to find a common solution to the problem. The Austrian Farmers Union (“Bauernbund”) president Jakob Auer is claiming a compensation payment from the EU and the Austrian government in case price pressure on Austrian agricultural products becomes unbearable for farmers