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Thursday, 12 July 2012

EU restrictions hit Botswana’s beef exports

According to an article by Professor Roman Grynberg, the former director of Economic Governance with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, on the access of Botswanan beef to EU market,  “declining subsidies and increasing restrictions are forcing the country to think the unthinkable”. Botswana has been dependent on beef exports to the EU and this remains a key element of the country’s international trade policy.
The author, also current senior research fellow at the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, points out that the demand and production are expected to be stagnant until 2020, but the price of beef in the EU market could fall by 15% to 33% by the end of the decade if the WTO negotiations come to an end. The beef sector will experience the sharpest downward price adjustment because it still remains heavily protected by high tariffs.
However, even if EU prices may decline, the EU is also imposing more serious sanitary, health and animal standards on trade, making it more expensive for farmers and policymakers in Botswana to comply with its standards.
“Perhaps it is time for Botswana to openly ask whether beef access to the EU is really worth the cost, or should it focus its relatively small exports on national, South African and possibly Asian or Middle Eastern markets? Given the history and the economics, this seems unlikely”, he concludes.

Source: Mail & Guardian Online