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US import tariffs on Lithuanian dairy products will force exporters to look for new markets, the director of Pieno Centras, an association of Lithuania's three largest dairy groups, said on Friday, adding that an EU market surplus may drive down raw milk prices.
Producers: US tariffs to make dairies seek new markets
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"Our key export product to the US is cheese. Lithuanian companies will lose their contracts and will not be able to export these products," Egidijus Simonis told BNS. "Cheeses will have to be stored in warehouses".

Pieno Centras brings together Pieno Zvaigzdes, Vilkyskiu Pienine and Rokiskio Suris.

While the US is not the key market for Lithuanian dairy products, it accounts for a significant share of exports, according to the director.

"It will be problematic to promptly find new export markets for the quantity contracted with the US; it will take time," he said.

Major EU exporters, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Ireland, will leave their products meant for the US market in Europe, which may lead to a drop in raw milk prices.

Lithuanian cheeses, yoghurts and other dairy products will be subject to a new 25-percent import tariff imposed by the United States on Friday, according to the US Federal Register.

BNS
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