When compared to the previous year, Russian imports of fresh fruit and vegetables have increased considerably over the last year. A total of 7,1 million MT was imported, 17% more than in 2016. It is, however, not nearly as much as in 2013. In the year before the boycott came into force, Russia imported almost 8,5 million MT of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The (partial) recovery of the imports is, firstly, due to the boycott of various Turkish products being lifted in 2017. In addition, a record volume of (Ecuadorian) bananas and products from other countries were imported. The most important of these countries are China, Egypt, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. The record volume of banana imports is particularly noticeable. Last year, Russia surpassed Germany and is now the second largest importer of bananas in the world, besides the United States. Russia also imported a record volume of mandarins, it’s second most popular import product. Russia is by far this product’s most important import country. Russia’s import volumes of all other regularly consumed products also rose in 2017. This country’s import volumes of lesser-known products, such as kaki, garlic, watermelon, celery, avocado, and mangoes, also reached record highs in the past year.
Tomatoes from Turkey again
For the time being, the boycott on importing products from the EU and a number of other countries remains in full force. It was imposed in August 2014. However, in 2017, the boycott of many Turkish products, imposed at the beginning of 2016, was lifted. That of tomatoes, which was formerly the most important product, was only lifted in November 2017. This was after the Turkish export season was already over. The 2017 exports, therefore, are not that high when compared to the 365 000 MT of tomatoes imported from Turkey in 2014.
Mandarins from Turkey
In 2017, mandarins were the most important product exported from Turkey. With 342 000 MT , it was considerably more than the preceding years. Grapes, lemons, and oranges are other important products that Russia imported from Turkey. In addition, Turkey also exported a record volume of fresh fruit and vegetables last year. Besides the reinstatement of exports to Russia, this country is exporting more to many other countries than ever. This does not apply to their exports to the most important EU countries. After the 2016 slump (15%), Russia’s interest rose again by 25%. This is the same level as ten years ago. At its peak in 2014 and 2015, more than a third of Turkey’s exports were destined for Russia.
Trade from Belarus drops further
In 2017, even less use was made of the trade route through Belarus than in the record year of 2015. Then, 1,1 million MT of fresh fruit and vegetables were transported to Russia via Belarus. In 2016, this had already dropped to 630 000 MT and last year to 540 000 MT . This is still a reasonable amount. Important products here are pears, tomatoes, peaches, and carrots, apples, cucumber, strawberries, and cabbage.
Tomatoes and apples from China
In 2017, China was the third largest supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to Russia. Tomatoes and apples were the most important products. A reasonable volume of onions, mandarins, cabbage, grapefruit, bell peppers, carrots, and pears also made their way from China to Russia.
Fruits and vegs from Egypt
When it comes to imports from Egypt, it is first and foremost about oranges. In 2017, more than 220 000 MT of this fruit was imported by Russia. Other products from Egypt included onions (more than 1 000 000 MT), mandarins (30 000 MT) and grapes (16 000 MT).
From Azerbaijan, came especially tomatoes (157 000 MT), kaki (102 000 MT) and apples (70 000 MT). Moldova send mostly apples (230 000 MT), grapes (55 000 MT) and plums (35 000 MT). In 2017, Russia got mainly mandarins (210 000 MT) and tomatoes (100 000 MT) from Morocco.