“With Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the duties will fall to 5 percent, from 40 percent, and, of course, the European Union (EU) Member States will be able to ship pigs. The biggest threat for us is a situation in which our rivals will be able to ship their products, and we will not have such a possibility,” Saulius Leonavičius, CEO of Danish-owned Saerimner, Lithuania’s largest pig grower, told the daily.
He admitted that a comeback to Russia’s market might not be easy due to strong competition with rivals from Poland.
However, Leonavičius believes that chances for Lithuania’s pig farmers will improve next year with new animal welfare requirements coming into effect. Some pig farms do not intend to adapt to new regulations and the number of pig growers in the EU will decrease. Some Polish pig farmers – the key competitors of Lithuania’s pig growers – will also exit the market as they lack funds to upgrade their farms after several loss-making years.