Lithuanian exporters weather through one year Russia’s embargo with heads held high

DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“The major damage, in terms of exports of local origin goods, is still caused by the Russian embargo consequences. In the first six months of this year, exports of agricultural products to Russia shrunk by 62.1 percent, while exports of local origin agricultural products alone to Russia fell by 79.6 percent. In mid-August, Lithuanian dairy and meat exporters will mark a one year anniversary of Russia’s embargo. Perhaps one year was not enough to prove to the world and ourselves that we can do just fine without Russia’s market, yet, exporters took the blow pretty well. Eventually, as Western economies start recovering, we will make up for remaining deficiencies,” the bank DNB’s chief analyst Indrė Genytė-Pikčienė says.

Significant changes were observed following the Russian embargo. Although the first top 5 of Lithuania’s export markets is dominated by the EU countries, Saudi Arabia became the 6th largest market for exports as it started importing milk products from Lithuania, while the US comes 7th. The list of top dairy importers includes many new countries: Japan (13th), Cuba (17th), Vietnam (18th), Israel and Iran. Dairy exports to Belarus, meanwhile, jumped tenfold.

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