Argentina may increase meat delivery to Russia, taking over U.S. market share

Argentina might be increasing shipments of meat to Russia, replacing on the market the United States, which cannot export meat to Russia because of the use of ractopamine.

The beta stimulant ractopamine is used in feed for livestock raised for their meat to increase muscle growth.

Russia's Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) said Argentinean Ambassador to Russia Juan Carlos did not rule out this possibility during a Tuesday meeting with Rosselkhoznadzor chief and co-chair of the Russian-Argentinean intergovernmental commission for trade-economic and scientific cooperation Sergei Dankvert.

Dankvert said that deliveries of Argentinean beef dropped to 9,000 tonnes last year.

"The ambassador agreed with the justification for increasing deliveries of meat from Argentina to Russia, especially given that the USA, which supplies the Russian market with 140,000 tonnes of beef and pork a year, has rejected Russia's demand that ractopamine be absent," a Rosselkhoznadzor statement says.

The meeting attendees also noted the stability of Russian-Argentinean economic ties achieved in recent years. Russia's imports from the South American country were worth $1.4 billion last year, $350 million more than in 2011. Due to a smaller grain harvest, especially of feed grain, Russia bought 300,000 tonnes of barley from Argentina last year. Argentina bought food-grade wheat from Russia.

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