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Russia could extend agricultural ban to wine, AGWA

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The Australian Grape and Wine Authority have warned that Australian wine makers may need to brace themselves for a ban in exports to Russia.

In light of Russia’s recent ban on most food imports from the West, AGWA regulatory manager, Steve Guy said that wine, although not currently on the list of prohibited products, could be next on the list if the sanctions were expanded in the future.

ABC News reports that Australia exports one million litres of wine to Russia each year. Although the figure is relatively small compared to 678 million litres exported globally, the Russian market is of higher value with an average return of $4.60 per litre compared to the global average of $2.60 per litre.

"It's a niche market for some companies, certainly not one we'd want to lose,” Guy toldABC News.

"It's one that we would hope to be able to grow, and of course you can't do that if there's a ban on exports."

Guy says that in order to best safeguard against a potential ban, Australian wine exporters to look to new markets such as South Korea - especially once the recently-signed Australia-South Korea free trade deal comes into play.

"What's pleasing is, once this agreement comes into force, the tariff will be zero immediately, there's no phase-out period," he says.

Image: www.funadvice.com

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