Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Agri-news from Russia (Masha the wonder cow)

Breeders in southern Russian have developed a sanction busting “anti-crisis cow” that “doesn't need to be fed in the winter and can survive periods of not eating at all.”

Brilliant, a bit like camalina which was doing the rounds in the FSU a few years back as the miracle crop that could be grown without any inputs apart from seed…and some diesel…and probably a herbicide…and some P & K…and while we’re at it better bung in an insecticide.

Restrictions on beef imports from Belarus to Russia imposed for quarantine reasons are to be lifted.

To be honest I lose track of all these restrictions and sanctions, I think they may have been imposed in December last year but I could equally be wrong.  Anyhow fresh Belarussian beef will be back on the menu in Moscow any minute now.

Which reminds me of the time I found myself eating fresh beef in a Belarussian slaughterhouse except I didn't know it was a slaughter house until we got up from the table pie-eyed on vodka for a tour of the facility.

Late at night it was too and I’ll tell you this for nothing, being in a cold, dark Belarussian abattoir late at night in the middle of winter looking at piles of animal body parts sobers you up pretty darn quickly.

The Russian tax on wheat exports which was first announced back in December came in to force at the weekend.

If I've read this right it’s 15% of the customs value of the consignment plus €7.5 but not less than €35/mt which is massive and I assume all but stops exports of wheat from Russia.

The reason given was to reduce the attractiveness of Russian grain sales to foreign markets and stabilise prices of flour and bread in the country which is always a political hot potato.

In the same week it’s been reported that the price of vodka is to be reduced, surely this isn't just a case of “bread and circus”?