Sask. farm equipment dealers worried over Russian turmoil
Russia's weakening currency and the dwindling government support for farmers is affecting sales.
It is not just pork producers in Saskatchewan who are being hit hard by the political and military turmoil in Russia. Manufacturers of farm machinery are also affected.
The Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council says that the drop in Russia's currency and the dwindling government support for farmers in that country is affecting the market.
"We've had reports from several manufacturers here in Saskatchewan that their sales to Russia through the first six or so months of the year are well below half of what they were at this time last year," said Derek Lothian, executive director for the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council.
Saskatchewan exported more than $17 million in farming equipment to Russia last year. Farm equipment is Saskatchewan's largest grossing export to that country.
Exports to Russia account for 4 per cent of sales
Lothian says before the drop in the market, exports to Russia only accounted for about four per cent of total sales. Still, Saskatchewan companies had been hoping for increased sales there.
"So we're looking at that as a bit of a hesitation now going forward. Companies are going to pull back their investments in growing those markets should the conditions not improve," said Lothian.
While a ban on farm equipment has not been imposed, on Wednesday Russia announced sanctions against meat, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables from Canada, the U.S., the European Union, Australia and Norway.
According to Russian officials, the ban is a response to escalating sanctions against Russia, which have already had financial implications for the country.
With files from CBC's Kathy Fitzpatrick