Agreement for Duty-Free Supply of Moldovan Fruits to Russia Extended to 2020

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Ion Kiku, announced the extension in 2020 of the duty-free regime for the export of five categories of agro-food products, including fruits and berries, from Moldova to Russia, which has been in force since the beginning of this year. The corresponding agreement was reached during a recent visit of the head of the Moldovan Cabinet of Ministers to Russia and negotiations with a Russian counterpart.

Also, the parties agreed on the expansion of the list of Moldovan agricultural producers and traders authorized to supply fruit and berry products to Russia. At the moment, only Moldovan enterprises that are included in a special list of suppliers authorized by the Rosselkhoznadzor are entitled to export agricultural products to the Russian market. Currently, this list includes a little over 150 enterprises, while no more than a third of them are active exporters of fruits and vegetables.

In the summer of this year, in response to a request from the Rosselkhoznadzor, the leadership of the National Food Safety Agency (ANSA) prepared and sent to the Russian office an additional list of potential fruit exporters that included 58 enterprises with plantations, cooling facilities, and sorting and packaging lines. To date, the list has not yet been approved by the Russian side.

The Ministry of Agriculture will Regulate the Market of Wild Plants

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation received the right to regulate the market of wild plants, according the government decree on the official website.

“The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation is a federal executive body that carries out functions for the development of state policy and legal regulation in the field of agriculture <…> including the issuance of food products obtained from wild fruits, berries, nuts, mushrooms, seeds and similar forest resources, medicinal and other plants”, according to the draft of the resolution.

The department assured that they did not plan to limit the gathering of wild berries and mushrooms, but to improve the quality and efficiency of market regulation.

Russian Retailer Dixy to Launch Online Sales with Sberbank

One of the largest Russian retailers Dixy Group will launch online grocery sales of its format Viktoria in the first half of 2020, the CEO of the group Igor Pletnev told Vedomosti. Pletnev did not specify which is the marketplace the sales will be hosted on.

Currently largest e-commerce marketplaces include Wilderberries, Ozon, Beru of Yandex.Market, AliExpress, Tmall, Goods developed by electronics retailer major M.Video-Eldorado, and others.

Dixy will team up with Sberbank´s delivery and logistics service SberLogistika in development of the delivery solutions.

This year Dixy Group merged with liquor store chains Bristol and Red & White, with annual revenues of about RUB800bn ($12bn) and over 13,000 retail points of sale creating the third biggest retailer in Russia after only X5 Retail Group and Magnit.

The merger was followed with an appointment of Pletnev, an ex-development director and strategic director for Pyterochka supermarket format of country’s largest retailer X5 Group. Reportedly, Dixy and X5 have separately settled a non-compete clause in Pletnev’s contract with X5, allowing him to take the CEO position with one of the largest competitors. The new post-merger holding is controlled by owners of Dixy, Bristol, and Red & White, namely Igor Kesaev (Forbes-estimated fortune of $3.2bn), Sergei Katsiev ($1.3bn), and Sergei Studennikov ($850mn). Kesaev and Katsiev hold 51% in DBKR and Studennikov the remaining 49%.

Russia’s largest retailer X5 Group also focuses on digital solutions and develops online sales of its supermarket format. O’kay retailer also runs an online supermarket, while Magnit, Lenta, and Metro are collaborating with express delivery services.

Turkey Exports Half of its Table Grapes to Russia

According to data from the Aegean Exporters’ Association, half of the table grape exports in the period from June to October (worth $120 million) went to Russia. The overall exports surged by 15% compared to the same period of the previous season, up from $103.6 million, the data showed.

By receiving $67.1 million worth of Turkish table grapes in the said period, Russia had a share of 56% of the total exports, followed by Ukraine with $13.4 million and Germany with $6.7 million.

The western province of Manisa, which meets almost all of the exports of fresh grapes, has offered overseas markets products such as “Emperor,” “Razaki,” “Red Globe” and “Superior,” as well as the Manisa Sultani seedless grapes, a registered trademark.

In the meantime, harvest season continues in the 120,000-acre vineyard area in Sarıgöl, Manisa, renowned for its table grape production. Hayrettin Uçak, chairman of the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association, said that they are pleased with the export of fresh grapes this season.

Stressing the quality of table grapes, Uçak added that they do not experience any difficulties in marketing. “Our manufacturers are also satisfied with the price. Sultani seedless grapes especially are in high demand,” he said. “Russia is by far the largest market in grape exports. We have had some trouble with Russia in the past, but we are fine at the moment. We went above the previous figures… We sell one bunch of grapes to Russia, the other bunch to domestic markets or European countries.”

Result of Sanctions on EU Food Imports: Russian Consumers Pay an Extra $7 billion a Year

The Russian sanctions on the import of EU food products is costing Russian consumers RUB445 billion ($7 billion) a year, or about $50 a year per head, according to a study by economists at RANEPA and CEFIR.

And the cost is mainly borne by consumers that absorb 84% of the increased costs, while food manufacturers carry only 3% of the extra burden, the study found. Food importers carry another 13% of the burden in net losses.

Russia imposed the agri-sanctions on Europe as a tit-for-tat measure after Europe and America slapped punitive sanctions on Russia following its annexation of the Crimea in May 2014. Since then President Vladimir Putin has said the Russian sanctions on food cost Europe €100 billion a year, although it is not clear where he gets this figure from.

However, mutual trade between Russia and the EU has fallen by about that amount in the last five years and many EU food exporters have been badly wounded by the Russian sanctions. Previously Russia was a major export market for things like pork and fruit. Previously Russia was a major export market for things like pork and fruit. High end processed food products like Italian cured meats and posh French cheese have almost entirely disappeared from Moscow shop shelves since the ban was introduced. (more…)

Prices for Iranian Fruit and Veg Expected to Fall in Russia

Economists forecast a 3-4% drop in the prices paid for vegetables and fruits imported by Russia from Iran, as well as a 30% increase in their share in the Russian market.

This would be the result of the reduction in customs duties between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran. For Tehran, tariffs will decrease by an average of 64% after the agreement on the creation of a temporary free trade zone comes into force.

Payments for nuts will be completely canceled; for vegetables, they will drop by 25-50%; for fruits, by 50% to 100%. Due to these declines, the price of tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes or herbs should become cheaper.

For entrepreneurs from the EAEU (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), Tehran is in turn reducing tariffs by an average of 23%. The agreement will remain in force until October 2022, after which a fully-fledged free trade zone is planned to be created.

Experts have praised the agreement with Iran and said that trade between both countries could grow by $ 1.5 billion.

Russia Harvests Almost 1 million MT of Greenhouse Vegetables in First Nine Months of 2019

In the first nine months of 2019, Russian producers harvested 966,700 MT of vegetables grown in protected agricultural production, out of which 897,000 MT were cultivated in winter greenhouses. This is 13.5% more than the figure reached in 2018 (790,400 MT). According to the report, as of October 22, 2019, 547,700 MT of greenhouse cucumbers had been harvested, which is 12.8% more than in the same period of 2018 (485,500 MT). Also, the tomato volume stood at 336,800 MT, which is 15.2% more than in 2018 (292,400 MT).

This year, the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia expects a record volume of vegetable production in winter greenhouses: 1.2 million MT. This is 18% higher than the target (1.02 million MT) and 20% more than in 2018 (1 million MT).

The leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables are the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Lipetsk and Moscow Regions, and the Republic of Bashkortostan.

In recent years, the Russian greenhouse vegetable growing industry has given a significant boost to investment. Over the past five years, more than 1 thousand hectares of high-tech greenhouse complexes have been built and modernized. In 2018, 350 hectares of greenhouses were commissioned and modernized. The total acreage of ​​winter greenhouses over the years has increased to 2.5 thousand hectares, which is a quarter more than in 2014.

Considering that, in terms of performance, the new greenhouses do significantly better than previously built ones, the production volumes have increased by 65% ​​compared to 2014. By 2025, the Ministry of Agriculture expects the production of greenhouse vegetables to reach 1.5 million MT.

A Refrigerator Warehouse Will be Added to the Checkpoint with Latvia

It is planned to open a warehouse complex in the Pskov region on the border with Latvia, the press service of the regional administration reports.

The facility will be located on the M-9 Baltiya highway near the Burachki international customs checkpoint. The volume of investment in the project is estimated at 240 million rubles.

“The warehouse complex will be located on the south side of the Burachki checkpoint. This is the only opportunity for the development of a customs post, ”says Andrey Dubenkov, deputy director of the Group Invest company.

The warehouse will be designed for one-time unloading of five trucks. In addition, an open area designed for 40 units of freight transport, as well as an area with freezers, will be provided on its territory. Representatives of veterinary and phytosanitary services will be able to carry out customs clearance of food products.

It is supposed to hand over the object in a year – in October 2020.

Peaches were Turkey’s most exported fresh produce to Russia

According to the Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association’s (DKIB) figures, in the first 9 months of the year, Turkey exported 505,547 MT of fresh fruits and vegetables to Russia, worth $412.6 mln. Peaches ranked first with an export volume of 73,455 MT and with an export value of $75.8 mln. Peaches were followed by tomatoes and grapes.

Last year, in the same period, Turkey exported 72,897 MT of peaches for $66.8 mln. Thus, peach exports to Russia increased by 1% in terms of volume and by %13 in terms of value.

The Black Sea Region was responsible of 101,883 MT of the overall fresh fruits and vegetables exports to Russia. The region earned $83.9 mln from these exports. Peaches also ranked first in Black Sea Region’s exports to Russia. 14,541 MT of peaches were exported from the area in exchange of $14.9 mln.





Russia Imported 197,400 MT of Juice, Worth $325 Million in 2018

In 2018, Russia imported 197,400 MT of juice, worth $325 million, including the apple juice – 93,800 MT, worth $97.4 million, accroding to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, the Russian juice industry produced 2.4 billion liters of juice,1.6% more compared to 2017.

The average yearly consumption of juice products per person is 15.5 liters. Juice products include: juices (27%), nectars (52%) and juice drinks (21%).