Brazil hopeful on Russian pork sales as leaders meet

MOSCOW Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:58pm GMT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Brazil hopes to resolve a dispute over exports of pork to Russia, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said after talks with President Vladimir Putin on Friday on how the emerging-market powerhouses can boost trade.

Moscow's tightening of requirements for the importation of meat have threatened to ruffle relations between Brazil and Russia, one of its largest meat export markets and a fellow member of the BRICS group of large emerging market nations.

"We hope for the successful resolution of the problems that emerged (over) Brazilian pork exports," Rousseff said following talks with Putin during a two-day visit to the Russian capital.

Russia is eager to make a success of its year-long presidency of the G20 major economies, which began this month, and increase trade with countries such as Brazil, the world's sixth-largest economy. Russia is No. 9.

"We cannot be satisfied" with last year's bilateral trade volume of $6.5 billion (4 billion pounds), Putin said. "We must reach the level of at least $10 billion in the near future."

The visit was short on big deals, but the leaders oversaw signing of a deal for state-controlled Russian Helicopters to sell up to 14 Kamov-62 (Ka-62) helicopters to Atlas Taxi Aero.

They will be used by Brazil's Petrobras in offshore oil drilling projects.

Russia, once a major civil aircraft maker, is keen to regain presence in the market, more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union crippled its technological development.

For Brazil, whose economy is set to grow just 1 percent this year, Russia is a crucial export market for beef and pork, where it competes with North America, Australia, Europe and others.

Russia stepped up tests on U.S. and Canadian meat imports for traces of feed additive ractopamine, a beta blocker that promotes muscle growth in animals including pigs and cattle, and demanded both certify their meat as ractopamine-free.

Brazil temporarily banned the import and sale of some ractopamine products last month, and Russia's food safety watchdog said on Thursday the move could lead to an eventual increase in Brazilian exports to Russia.

Russia received 17 percent of its imported pork from Brazil in the first nine months of this year.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Steve Gutterman and Polina Devitt; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jason Webb)

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