Pork producers in Saskatchewan will feel a pinch from Russia's one-year ban on food imports from the West.

Florian Possberg, who chairs the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, said Russia accounts for about one fifth of Canada's pork exports, and is the fourth largest customer. But it's a volatile market, he said. 

"We've had trade disruptions with Russia probably more often than any other destination," he said. "But when it's good it's very good. And so we'll continue to try and reopen that market."

The Saskatchewan government said it does not believe there will be a significant impact for Saskatchewan pork producers. In 2013, Saskatchewan exported 25 tonnes of frozen pork valued at $66,951. This meat is largely frozen, lower grade cuts of pork. 

However, the province said it does recognizes that Russia is an important market for Canadian pork exports and may impact pork producers, packers and processors. More than 1.5 million pigs are sent outside the province for slaughtering.

Meat in transit

Possberg said his immediate concern is the pork shipments already on their way to Russia and hopes they're not blocked at the border.

Today in Chicago, the October futures price for pork fell by about two per cent, he said. Possberg accepts the need for Canada's sanctions against Russia that triggered Russia's ban.

"Obviously we would like a different outcome than a trade ban," he said. "But at the same time, we understand that there are things that happen that are you know state-to-state."

Possberg said pork remains profitable — but producers will bring in a little less money now.