LONDON, UK--Shipping lines expect to learn within the next few weeks whether Russia's embargo on many food products will lead to new route patterns for ocean freight, with Russia services currently being maintained as normal by lines. The ban on products from the EU, the US, and other countries including Canada and Norway has left Russia looking to other geographical regions to secure alternative sources for beef, poultry, fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood to their traditional suppliers in Europe and North America. Latin America is one region with the potential to fill the gap and earlier this month Russia reportedly opened discussions with the ambassadors of Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador to discuss the opening of new food import traffic flows and increasing existing ones, reports Lloyds Loading List.
Asked about the prospect of the embargo leading to modifications in shipping schedules as a result of Russia switching to trading partners in other parts of the globe, a spokesman for Maersk Line said "At this point, we are not seeing any signs of it. But experience shows that we can expect new sourcing patterns and in this case it could very well be Latin America - Brazil being a specific example. We'll probably know more in the next three weeks to a month." CMA CGM confirmed that the current embargos were not affecting its calls in Russian ports. "All services are maintained," a spokesperson said.