Four years after imposing a ban on U.S. beef, it looks as though Russia may lift restrictions on U.S. imports. According to John Brook of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, if the ban is lifted Russia could be a tremendous market for U.S. beef because of the increasing purchasing power.
"It's an amazing situation, resulting from the high energy prices and the huge amount of money which is flowing back into the economy from these record energy prices," Brook says. "In Russia don't ask me how the money moves from the people who control energy exports, but it does seem to flow down into the wider economy. And there are vast, fast growing sectors of middle class and a fast changing trend of consumption."
In 2003 when the ban was put in place, Russia was the fifth largest importer of U.S. beef.