TRADE AND MARKET I NG Colombian fry duties are latest sign of trade tension imported 8 804 tonnes of fries – 20.2% down on August 2017 – see report in this issue for more. Despite the ware import ban, 13 000 tonnes of fresh potato imports from the US were reported. In 2013 Russia imposed a temporary trade ban on the import of fresh potatoes from the EU because of phytosanitary fears. That ban was extended in 2014 after further bans on Russian products following the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner by Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine. EU fry imports are outside Russia’s ban and have increased to record levels since 2013. The most impactful change in trade relationships could come in March 2019 if there is no-deal between the EU and UK as it seeks to leave the European Union. little impact on values, with the 2014/15 price at US$635/tonne and the current value at US$738/tonne. Exports have increased since the duties with just 1 625 tonnes exported in 2010/11. Now annual exports are at 7 750 tonnes. In early 2017 Brazil imposed fry import duties on European suppliers on a company-by-company basis. Overall imports have changed little, with 346 000 tonnes imported in the year ending September, a similar volume to the previous 12 months. What has changed is who is supplying that volume. Imports from Argentina have dropped 8.9%, and there has been a 18.8% drop in sales from the Netherlands to 51 800 tonnes, suggesting it has been hit by duties. In contrast, imports from Belgium have increased by 46.4% to 107 829 tonnes. The most recent restrictions on potato trade has been in Mexico. In retaliation for US steel and aluminium import duties, Mexico imposed a 20% tariff on US fry imports in June 2018. In the same month a Mexican judged imposed restrictions on fresh potato imports on biosecurity grounds. In August Mexico Other trade disputes that have been in the news include, the imposition of trade restrictions on exports and imports between the US and Iran as the Trump presidency seeks to punish Iran’s regime over its nuclear weapons policy. Earlier in the year, the US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from a number of countries, including the EU, Mexico, Canada and China. It led to retaliatory action with many US food products suffering from tariffs including soyabeans and pigmeat. Apart from the Mexican fry duties, potato products largely escaped the trade war. Brexit trade worries The most impactful change in trade relationships could come in March 2019 if 38 Potato World 2018 • number 4 Pagina 37

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