Apple Production to Reach 1.5 Million MT in 2018/19

For marketing year 2018/19, Russian apple production is forecast at 1,506,100 MT. Notwithstanding recent growth in local apple production, Russia remains one of the world’s leading importers of fresh deciduous fruit, importing 858,612 tons of apples in 2017/18. In MY 2018/2019, Russian apple imports will likely decrease to 815,000 MT. Russian imports of table grapes and pears are also forecast to decrease to 270,000 MT and 352,000 MT, respectively, as consumers increasingly look to purchase less expensive domestically grown fruit.

Since 2014, Russia’s counter-sanctions have banned fresh apple imports from Europe and the United States. This, and the Government of Russia support amounting to 12.9 billion rubles (US$ 194.8 million) for the period 2013-2018, has propelled investment in Russia’s horticultural sector.

In 2018, the the Government of Russia announced a 242 billion rubles (US$ 3.6 billion) support program for Russian agriculture. In February 2018, the Gpvernment of Russia allocated an additional 7 billion rubles (US$ 105.7 million) specifically for agricultural development, this included a 5 billion ruble (US$75.5 million) subsidy to encourage investment.

Apples Imports to Russia in 2018

Russia remains one of the biggest apples importers in the world. In total in 2018, Russia imported 844,000 MT of apples amounted to $517.4 million, while it exported 11,700 MT of $4.11 million.

The main countries exporting fresh apples to Russia are Serbia (20.7%) and Moldova (20.5%). China ranks third with 16.5%.

Russia also imported fresh apples from Iran (7.3%), Turkey (7.2%), Azerbaijan (6.7%), Chile (5%), Belarus (3.4%), South Africa (3.4%), Argentina (3%), Brazil (2%), New Zealand (2.8%), Macedonia (1.2%) and other countries.

In 2018, the Russian Berry Market Grew by 1.5%

In 2018, Russia’s total berry production volume increased by 1.5% compared with the previous year. This broke the negative trend of 2017, when this figure fell by 5.8%, as revealed by data of the marketing agency ROIF Expert.

Agency analysts noted that 65-68% of the total volume corresponds to cultivated berries, and 32-35% to the harvest of wild plants. 92-94% of all grown berries are currants, garden strawberries and raspberries.

At the same time, no more than 1% of all products grown in the country are exported. In 2018, Russian berry shipments to foreign markets increased by 43% in terms of volume and by 9% in terms of value and reached $ 0.5 million. Berry imports last year grew by 8% in terms of volume and by 45% in terms of value, reaching $ 100 million.

Iran: Exports to Russia up 36% in 2018

Iran exported US$533 million worth of commodities to Russia in 2018. This is a growth of 36% in Iran’s exports to Russia, compared to the year before.

Iran’s exports mainly included pistachio, raisins, dates, apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, fish, shrimp, milk, cheese, tea, kiwi fruit and cabbage, according to Farhad Parand, Iran’s commercial attache in Russia. The trade between Iran and Russia stood at 1.74 billion dollars in 2018, registering a 2% growth from 2017.

Russia Sharply Reduced Imports of Onions, Garlic, Cabbage and Carrots

According to EastFruit analysts, Russia continues to increase its domestic production and expand its infrastructure for the storage of basic vegetables, such as carrots, cabbage, beets and garlic. This is allowing the country to reduce its dependence on imports. In some cases, it is even becoming able to export.

In the first 11 months of 2018, onion imports to Russia fell by 52% compared with the same period in 2017 and amounted to just over 146 thousand tons. Carrot imports decreased by 10% to 155 thousand tons, and imports of all types of fresh cabbage fell by 17% to 97 thousand tons. Garlic imports decreased the least, by 8%, down to 46 thousand tons.

At the same time, Russia slightly increased its potato imports (by 2%, to 533 thousand tons). Thus, the second bread for Russians remained the most imported vegetable in terms of volume. Also worth noting is the growth of beet imports, which increased by 10%, to 41 thousand tons.

Egypt remained the main supplier of potatoes to Russia, accounting for 66% of all deliveries in the first 11 months of 2018. Potato shipments from Pakistan to Russia also increased. Russia imported carrots from Israel, China, Belarus (to a large extent re-exports from the EU, according to market participants) and Egypt. In total, these countries accounted for 91% of all shipments.

The bulk of onions on the Russian market came from China and Egypt (57%), while cabbage was supplied mainly by China and Uzbekistan (60%), as well as from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Iran.

Russia to Double Tomato Imports from Turkey, Agriculture Minister Pakdemirli says

Russia will double the quota on tomato imports from Turkey, Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister said on Saturday.

Bekir Pakdemirli was in the German capital of Berlin within the scope of the 11th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference.

Speaking to reporters at Turkish Embassy in Berlin after the conference, Pakdemirli said he negotiated the issue with his Russian counterpart.

“One of our greatest advantages is that we have increased our 50,000 tons tomato quota to 100,000 tons,” he said.

In January 2016, after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet violating its airspace, Russia banned imports of Turkish fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, oranges, apples, apricots, cabbage, broccoli, mandarins, pears, peaches, cucumbers, plums, strawberries, onions, cloves, and poultry.

However, Russia relaxed trade sanctions placed on Turkey during the summer of 2017.

First Moldovan Apples into Russia under Duty-Free Agreement

Moldova delivered to Russia the first batch of apples under the Duty Free Trade Agreement, which was the result of negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moldova Igor Dodon.

The removal of duties will allow Moldavian apple exporters to save $600 per truck and increase the competitiveness of fruits on the Russian market.

Presidential Adviser on the agro-industrial sector, Ion Perju, recalled that since January 1, there is a ban on transit and import of a number of commodity items from Ukraine into Russia. Products must be imported into Russia bypassing Ukraine, but the administration of Igor Dodon is already negotiating with Russian representatives.

More Than 1,100 Hectares of Apple Orchards to be Built in Stavropol Region

Agrarians of the Stavropol Territory are planning to plant 1,136 hectares of apple orchards in 2019.

As the Minister of Agriculture of the Region, Vladimir Sitnikov is quoted:  “In 2019, we are planning to lay out 1,136 hectares. We never pledged ourselves to such a big project: usually it would be 400-500 hectares per year.”

In 2018, the production of apples in the Stavropol Territory amounted to 35,000 MT, exceeding the 2017 figures by 1,000 MT. The acreage of ​​intensive and super-intensive gardens in the region is about 3,120 hectares.

Russia Abolishes Import Duties on Fruit and Vegetable Imports from Moldova

The Russian government has passed a decree on the abolition of duties on imports of Moldovan fruit and wine products in 2019, said the President of the Republic, Igor Dodon.

We are talking about vegetables, fruits (apples, cherries, plums, nectarines), canned food, grapes, wines and brandies.

The removal of duties has been possible thanks to the agreements reached earlier with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

This resolution, according to Dodon, will undoubtedly contribute to a significant increase in the export of Moldovan goods to the Russian market, the creation of jobs, and an increase in revenues.

“I express my gratitude to Vladimir Vladimirovich for the support given to the Moldovan people,” said the Moldovan President on his Facebook page.

The removal of duties is especially important for Moldovan producers of apples and grapes. In 2018, due to an excessive harvest, they had to deal with a shortage of markets.

Earlier it had been reported that the Russian Federation was going to abolish customs duties on Moldovan apples, grapes, vegetables, canned goods and wines until July 1, 2019.

24% Increase in Value of Turkish Fruit and Veg Exports to Russia

According to the Association of Exporters of the Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey (DKİB), the Republic has exported 673,222 mt of fruits and vegetables to Russia in the first 10 months of the year, which is 18 percent more than in 2017.

In monetary terms, exports have grown by 24 percent, reaching $ 465.677 million.

Most of Turkey’s fruit and vegetable exports to Russia (141,366 mt) came from the Eastern Black Sea region. In monetary terms, those exports were worth $ 100.208 million.

According to Turkish exporters, shipments in 2019 are expected to increase by at least 30%.