UPDATE 2-Russia may halt US beef, pork imports - trade group
* Russia requires testing for ractopamine
* USMEF says pork, beef exports to Russia could stop
* Russia move comes after US Senate passes trade bill
* Cattle, hog futures down
By Theopolis Waters and K.T. Arasu
CHICAGO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. pork and beef exports to Russia could halt on Saturday following Moscow's requirement that the meat be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine, a move analysts said smacked of political retaliation.
The measure by Russia - the sixth-largest market for U.S. beef and pork - comes on the heels of U.S. Senate approval of a trade bill to punish Russian human rights violators as part of a broader objective to expand bilateral commerce.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation told its members by email that since the U.S. Department of Agriculture had no testing and certification program in place for ractopamine, the Russian requirement could effectively halt U.S. pork and beef exports to the country by Saturday.
USMEF, a non-profit trade association, said more than 210 shipping containers of U.S. pork and beef valued at about $20 million were on their way to Russia. Continued...