Netherlands counts the cost of Russia food import ban

The loss of Russian markets to the Dutch agri-food sector has been valued at €200m (£160m), but could be considerably higher, the country's official statistics body has said.

Statistics Netherlands calculated that the ban jeopardises 5,000 Dutch jobs directly tied to Russian exports, but pointed out that many Dutch exports to Eastern Europe are then re-exported to Russia also.

"How many goods from the Netherlands affected by the boycott reached Russia through other countries is unknown," it said.

"Tomatoes, bell peppers and grapes are hardly grown in the Baltic states, but they do export these products."

Factoring in these, "another €300m and 5,000 jobs would be involved for the Netherlands," it claimed.

Meanwhile Rabobank, the largest lender to the agri-food sector, said the Russian sanctions "can have an adverse impact on a number of our business customers", and warned that should the trade conflict continue, "a weaker development of the economy in 2014 and 2015 cannot be excluded".

Fellow Dutch bank ING has calculated that the country likely to suffer the greatest production losses is Germany, with Poland suffering the most job losses. 

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