More Than 180,000 MT of Vegetables Harvested in Krasnodar Territory

In the Krasnodar Territory, more than 180,000 MT of open field and greenhouse vegetables were harvested from the beginning of 2018. This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.

“According to current data, vegetables have already been harvested from almost 20,000 hectares, with a yield of 124,600 MT. This is at the same levels of the previous year. Harvesting of vegetables of sheltered cultivation has continued; since the beginning of the year their gross yield is 59,000 MT. This is 4,000 MT more than in the previous year,” the report said.

Earlier, FruitNews wrote that the region plans to build a greenhouse complex with an area of about 60 hectares for the production of tomatoes.

Harvest of Russian Berries Decreased by 8.7%

In 2017, the harvest of berries in Russia decreased by 8.7% to 700,000 MT. This was stated in a research piece titled “The Russian market of fresh fruits and berries: complex analysis and forecast” by AnalyticResearchGroup.

It specified that for the last 9 years, the gross yield did not show any significant fluctuations, ranging from 670,000 MT in 2010 to 810,000 MT in 2016. The area of ​​perennial berry plantations in 2017 amounted to 127,500 hectares. In the study, AnalyticResearchGroup noted that compared to 2016, the planting area decreased by 0.6%, returning to the levels of 2015.

The largest volumes of berries were harvested last year in the Krasnodar Territory – 44,640 MT. Also included were the Republic of Tatarstan – 34,270 MT- and the Rostov region – 32,860 MT.

80% of Fruit and Veg Shipments to Far East Russia Arrive Through Manzhouli

80% of fruits and vegetables on the tables of residents of the Far East of Russia are supplied through the Manzhouli/Manchuria/Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region bordering the Trans-Baikal region of Russia, according to the local customs service.

Statistics show that by the end of the first half of 2018, the volume of agricultural exports from China to Russia via Manzhouli grew by 22.1 percent year-on-year, reaching a value of 1.44 billion yuan (about $ 209 million).

The value of fruit exports amounted to 650 million yuan (94.2 million dollars), which is 110 percent more than in the previous year. Meanwhile, vegetables shipments were worth 597 million yuan (86.5 million dollars), 13.1 percent less than in 2017.

The growing demand for fruits and vegetables on the Russian market, according to experts, is due to the improvement of the country’s economic situation and the increase in the purchasing power of its population.

The period of greatest demand for agricultural products in the Far East of Russia will be that from October to May next year. Manzhouli enjoys great advantages for the supply of fruits and vegetables to Russia due to its geographical location.

Fruit and Veg Prices Rising Much Faster in Russia Than in the EU

Between January and May 2018, food products became 2.1% more expensive in Russia, while in the European Union, the same products saw prices grow by just 1.1%, according to the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat).

The most notable difference was recorded in the price of vegetables, which grew by 14.4% in Russia, while in the EU they only increased by 2.7%. Meanwhile, fruit prices rose by 9.3%, while in the EU, they only increased by 6.7%.

It is worth noting that in 2017, the picture was the reverse, with prices in Russia rising more slowly than in the EU. Last year, food prices in Russia grew by 0.7%, while in the EU they increased by 2.6%.

EU Extends Sanctions on Russia

The EU on Thursday extended sanctions against Russia for another six months over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

The Council of the EU unanimously adopted the extension on the restrictions, which were originally imposed in July 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, citing Moscow’s “actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine.”

The sanctions target the financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as the area of dual-use goods — products that can be for either military or civilian use. The measures include limiting access to EU markets for five major Russian majority state-owned financial institutions and their majority-owned subsidiaries, as well as for three energy and three defense companies.

The sanctions also entail a ban on arms trade and curtailing Russian access to certain “sensitive” technologies that can be used for oil production and exploration.

EU leaders have said that the sanctions will be lifted once all sides in Ukraine commit to the ceasefire agreed in the Minsk accords.

Russian Apple Imports 2017 up for the First Time Since 2013

In the period from 2013 to 2017, the import of apples fell from 1.40 to 0.71 million MT, according to the data of the report “Analysis of the apples market in Russia” prepared by BusinesStat.

“The main reason for the reduction in imports in these years was Russia 2014 reaction on the sanctions, boycotting the import of agricultural products (including apples) from the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and Norway”, the publication reads.

It is specified that the growth was registered for the first time in five years in 2017 by 2.7%. In addition, over this period, the structure of imports has changed in the supplier countries. So, in 2013 and 2014 years. The main supplier of apples to the Russian market was Poland, whose share in total supplies was 37.2 – 50.3%. Import from this country stopped due to the decision to ban the import of fruit by the Rosselkhoznadzor on August 1, 2014.

The main importer in 2015 was Belarus with 518,000 MT(51.5%). According to statistics of BusinesStat, the volume of supplies of Belarus has increased 4.5 times since 2013. Market participants expressed the opinion that the most likely reason for the increase in Belorussian supplies was the re-export of apples from other countries.

In the following years (2016-2017), the supply of apples from Belarus to Russia declined and in 2017 amounted to 58,400 MT.

Russia’s Focus on Organic Agriculture

On 29 May 2018, a press conference took place in the Russian Federation, dedicated to the 5-year anniversary of the National Organic Union. Participants discussed the latest developments of organic products in Russia and expressed their expectations of the draft Federal Law on “Organic Products, Production and Marketing”. However, some problematic issues were raised as well. The Organic Union on 23 and 24 June will hold another conference on organic agriculture in Suzdal.

In just ten years (2005-2015), the area of organic agricultural land in Russia has increased from 6,900 to 385,140 hectares, which amounts to 0.2% of the total agricultural land in the country. But not all certified organic land is under cultivation, which is partly due to the fact that certification takes about three years and farmers do not start using the land until they can produce and sell certified organic products.

Most organic farms in Russia are small and medium of size (50-1,500 hectares), while the biggest share of the organic production is done by large holding companies such as Agrivolga, Arivera and  Savinskaya Niva. More than 60 Russian organic producers have international organic certificates from the European Union and of the National Organic Program of the US.

Sharp Increase of Turkish Fruit and Veg Exports to Russia

According to the Association of Exporters of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (UYMSIB), the export of fresh fruits and vegetables from Turkey grew by 25% between January and April this year, compared to the same period in 2017, and reached a value of $794 million (compared to $635 million a year earlier). According to an article published by Anadolu Agency, solving the problems with Russia played an important role in this rise of Turkish fruit and vegetable exports.

Other factors contributing to growth were the greater trust in Turkish products in European markets, as well as access to new markets.

During this period, a total of 1,557 million MT of fruits and vegetables were exported, which is 17% more than the previous figures, the association said.

During the same period, exports to Russia grew by 125%, from $90 million to $202 million, and the volume increased by 91%, reaching about 315,000 MT.

According to UYMSIB, Russian exports accounted for 70% of Turkey’s export volume, with a value of $112 million out of $159 million.

Egyptian Potatoes Readmitted to Russian Market

From 6 June 2018, Egypt is again allowed to supply potatoes to Russia from eight regions. A ban had been introduced due to cases of brown rot, as reported by the official Egyptian news agency MENA, citing the words of the Minister of Industry and Trade of Egypt, Tarek Kabila.

“The Russian authorities have agreed to lift the ban on the import of Egyptian potatoes from eight regions; imports from these areas are allowed again from 6 June,” T. Kabil said.

He explained that such a decision became possible following the negotiations of the Russian-Egyptian intergovernmental commission, which met in Moscow in late May. There were also a series of visits, and moreover, Egypt sent Russia the results of checks on Egyptian agricultural products, which confirmed their compliance with international standards.

Russian Economic Recovery under Way in April Despite Sanctions

Retail sales in Russia picked up in April, while real wages growth exceeded expectations as the unemployment rate fell, suggesting an economic recovery was under way.

The monthly set of data released by the Federal Statistics Service, or Rosstat, indicated that sanctions that the United States imposed on Moscow in early April had little immediate impact on Russia’s fundamentals.

After two years of recession caused by a slump in oil prices and Western sanctions, the Russian economy is now recovering along with oil, the rouble has generally stabilized and global commodity prices remain favorable for an economy dependent on exports of energy and raw materials.

Retail sales, the key gauge for consumer demand, the primary driver of economic growth, were up 2.4 percent year-on-year in April after a 2.0 percent rise in the year to March. (more…)