Drop in non-European food imports not to be problem for CR - CSU


15.08.2014 14:37

Prague - Czech food imports from non-European countries account for less than 10 percent of the total food imports and their drop would not have a significant impact on the Czech Republic, according to an analysis CTK obtained from the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) today.


Kamiony, export, import, nákladní doprava - ilustrační foto. ČTK Hájek Ondřej, ČTK

Food imports from territories outside Europe may drop as a result of Russia's efforts to replace its food imports from Europe and the USA with imports from other countries.

However, Czech food producers may be harmed by an excess supply of food which may come on the Czech market from the other European countries, the CSU said.

Russia banned all imports of meat, fish, milk, dairy products, fruit and vegetables from the EU, USA and several other Western countries last week.

The ban was a response to the West's sanctions imposed on selected Russian companies, officials and some sectors of the Russian economy for Russia's steps in the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia, which is dependent on imports of many food products, wants to compensate the drop in food imports from the West by imports from non-European destinations.

The Czech Republic imports a dominant part of food from European states. Europe's share on total food imports has increased since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004.

The share of imports of food and live animals from Europe to the Czech Republic on the total value of the goods rose from 81.3 percent in 2004 to 89.1 percent last year. The total value of the imported goods was Kc144.5bn in 2013.

From other continents, the highest amount of food is imported from America, but its share on total imports has dropped from almost 11 percent in 2004 to less than 6 percent last year.

Asia's share on food imports decreased from 5.1 percent in 2004 to 3.6 percent in 2013, and imports from Africa declined by a half to 1.2 percent in the period.

"No problem would probably occur even if a major restrictive interference was made to international trade in food as regards the amount of food products imported to the Czech Republic from non-European territories," CSU's analyst Drahomira Dubska said.

But Czech producers may have problems with an excess supply of food on the European market, which would accumulate after European producers would lose Russia as an important buyer of their products, Dubska added.

Farmers in the EU fear that surpluses of food will accumulate on the European market, which will lead to a drop in prices and sales, and to a growth in unemployment.

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