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%.


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.


Tomatoes in Game of Yes-No Between Russia and Turkey

Last week’s meeting between Russia and Turkey has yet to provide clarity about the tomato boycott, but the yes-no game isn’t over yet. In the run-up to the meeting, contradictory reports were heard. After last week’s meeting, only one thing became clear: nothing is clear yet, so borders will remain closed for now.

The choice of words of both parties after the negotiations illustrate the confusion. The Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybecki said in Turkish media that various agreements had been reached. For the remaining small problems he expects a solution before 20 October (when there’s a meeting in Kazan). “There are just one or two very small things regarding agrarian products. We agree on all major lines. I am certain all problems will be completely solved before 20 October.” Specifically about the tomato boycott the minister said: “In the near future we hope for a positive solution from the conversations with the Russians about lifting the sanctions.”

“Proposals for liberalisation of the tomato trade will be prepared separately within parameters between the Ministries of Agriculture,” according to the Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak in Russian media. When asked if the sanctions could be lifted by 20 October, he answered: “Yes, definitely. We have confidence that all will become clear before the meeting of the intergovernmental commission.”

A Russian analyst illustrates the different points of departure of the two countries for Turkish website Vestnik Kavkaza. “Our growers are unable to deliver tomatoes that can compete with the Turkish ones. It is obvious that Ankara is very interested in an end to the boycott, but our growers aren’t interested at all.” Earlier the Russian Ministry of Agriculture said he wants to protect the investments that have been made in the Russian cultivation of tomatoes.


Fruit & Veg Exports From Turkey to Russia up by 73%

Turkey’s exports increased by 15.8 percent in May compared to the same month of the previous year, according to data released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) Thursday.

The monthly export volume stood at around $12.5 billion, increasing for the seventh consecutive month. In the first five months of 2017, Turkey’s exports have recovered, marking a 10 percent increase in total. The TİM announced the numbers during a press conference attended by Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.

“Of our 20 top exporting partners, the highest increase in exports was to Russia with 73.4 percent. The five-fold increase in exports of fresh fruit and vegetables to this country had an effective impact on the said hike. Thus, our exports to Russia showed the highest monthly increase in May 2017,” he noted.

Büyükekşi said exports to 160 countries and regions increased in May, while exports to 75 others declined, stressing that exports to the top five exporting countries increased.


Turkey and Russia Lift Nearly All Sanctions

Following the lifting of the sanctions between Russia and Turkey, the Russian phytosanitary service is taking the first steps to get the trade started again. This month the service will travel to Turkey to inspect companies. It concerns cultivation companies that grow peppers, lettuce, pumpkins and courgettes. The goal is to judge the companies and to check whether they meet the conditions.

Turkish president Erdoğan called on his Russian colleague to also lift the final sanctions. President Putin says the sanctions won’t be in effect forever, but that time is needed to lift them. On Wednesday, the two presidents met and talked about the sanctions and other topics.

During the press conference after the meeting, the presidents said that they will make an effort to lift the sanctions, but for tomatoes it can take three to five years before Russia will open its borders again. “We agreed to lift all restrictions, but we’ve asked our Turkish partners and friends for understanding the fact that after well-known events, which led to the sanctions, life has moved on,” president Putin said during the press conference.

According to Turkish traders, the first onions from the province of Adana have been exported to Russia. The resumption of the export gives the Turkish growers hope again, says the head of the district. The Russian phytosanitary service will talk to the Turkish citrus sector. In October last year the boycott of fruit was lifted. Since then 12 parties have been intercepted which did not meet the phytosanitary demands. The conversations between Russian and Turkish delegates are planned for June.


Russia Says it Will not Reopen its Tomatoes Market to Turkish Imports

Russia does not intend to open up its market for tomatoes to Turkish growers, despite losing up to $1.5 billion from a trade dispute with Ankara, Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said on Wednesday.

Turkey has effectively put purchases of wheat, maize (corn) and sunflower from Russia on hold by imposing high import tariffs last month.

Russian market players believe the move was in retaliation for Moscow’s decision not to restore a visa-free regime with Ankara and resume purchases of tomatoes after the two countries improved ties last year, having fallen out over the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet in 2015.

“We do not plan to open the tomato market, (we) will support, above all, the domestic producers,” Tkachev said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV on Wednesday.

Russia has been actively supporting domestic production of vegetables and tomatoes since it banned most Western food imports in 2014 in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its involvement in Ukraine’s internal conflict.

“This is essential to us. The development of vegetable production has been our prestige in the recent years,” Tkachev said, adding that Moscow would get rid of the sector deficit in up to five years.

Russia was one of the key markets for Turkish tomatoes and bought several hundred million dollars worth each year.

That compares with between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion which Moscow, according to Tkachev’s estimate, is losing from the effective suspension of agricultural exports to Turkey.


Moscow Extends Turkish Food Ban in Response to Heavy Tax on Russian Agriculture

Russia will not lift the import ban on Turkish vegetables, fruit, and meat, according to agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor. Last week, Turkey imposed stiff tariffs on Russian wheat and corn, making exports unprofitable.

According to watchdog spokeswoman Yulia Melano, “the issue of full or partial removal of restrictions on Turkish fruit and vegetable products for the Russian market should be discussed in conjunction with the removal of counter restrictions on Russian products from the Turkish side.”

Last week, the Russian media reported that Turkey had imposed a 130 percent tariff on wheat, corn and sunflower meal that is making deliveries highly unprofitable for local businesses.

Turkey’s Trade Ministry denied the reports, but a representative of the Russian trade mission in Ankara said Turkey had excluded Russia from a list of countries with zero rates of customs duties. Turkey is the second largest buyer of Russian wheat after Egypt.

Russia will keep the ban on Turkish frozen meat and poultry as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, apples, pears, strawberries and other fruit and vegetables.

In March, Rosselkhoznadzor lifted the restrictions against Turkish onions, cauliflower, broccoli and some other vegetables, explaining there is a lack of these food items in Russia.

Food imports from Turkey were blocked in response to the downing of a Russian jet in Syria in November 2015. There were other restrictions, including the cancellation of charter flights to Turkey, the introduction of a visa regime, and a ban on hiring Turkish citizens. At the request of the Kremlin, Russian travel agencies suspended sales of package tours to the country.

Moscow-Ankara relations began to improve after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized over the jet incident. Russia lifted the flight ban, but the food ban has remained.


Russia Ignores Turkish Request to Lift More Products from Boycott

Last week, Russia lifted the boycott of a number of Turkish products, including cauliflower, broccoli and onions. However, for a number of products, such as tomatoes, apples, pears and cucumbers, the boycott remains in effect. On Monday, the Turkish government requested to also lift the sanctions on the remaining products. Ankara wants to increase exports to Russia by 100 billion dollar per year.

The Russian phytosanitary service, however, is in no hurry, and has disregarded the request. “These restrictions, that are still in place, will remain in place and we are not planning to lift them. And especially not in the near future,” Yulia Melano, spokesperson of the organisation, told the Russian press agency, Tass.

It was announced by the Ministry of Economic Development that lifting the sanctions last week had no effect on price developments in Russia. Although allowing products such as cauliflower, broccoli and onions will have consequences for the price developments of these specific products, their market share is too small to influence general trends.


Trade Turnover between Turkey & Russia up for First Time in Three Years

The trade turnover between Turkey and Russia in January this year rose for the first time since 2014, reports the agency Anadolu, citing the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

In January 2017, the value of Turkey’s exports to Russia increased by 59.1% to $150 million. During this period, the revenue generated by Turkish fruit and vegetable exports to Russia rose to nearly $38 million due to the partial removal of restrictions on the export of Turkish oranges and mandarins.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s imports from Russia in January rose by 10.2% – from 1.3 billion to 1.5 billion dollars. Most of these shipments corresponded to energy (almost 832 million) and steel (279 million dollars).

Trade turnover between Russia and Turkey had decreased since 2014.

The embargo on Turkey, affecting a wide range of vegetables and fruits, as well as raw meat and flowers, was introduced by Russia on 1 January 2016 in response to a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shooting down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M in Syria. In October 2016, the Russian government decided to readmit a number of Turkish products, including stonefruits and citrus. Grapes, apples, pears, strawberries, tomatoes, onions and shallots, cauliflower, broccoli and cucumbers are still banned.


Russia not in a Hurry to Lift Sanctions on Turkey

Russia is in no hurry to lift the boycott on Turkish products. “There are no plans to lift the boycott in the near future,” said Sergey Dankvert of Russian phytosanitary watchdog, Rossekhoznadzor, to Sputnik News.

“The import of a number of products is already allowed. The other products are boycotted by us and by the Russian government,” according to Sergey in pro-Russian media. “There will not be a massive opening for Turkish companies on the Russian market.” However, the boycotted products still find their way to the Russian market via detours, through Mali and Uganda, for example.

In 2016, Russia boycotted a number of products after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane. After the Turkish government apologised in the summer of 2016, the process of reconciliation was started. Russia has already lifted a number of the sanctions, but not all. For example, in October the trade in dried oranges, tangerines, peaches, nectarines and plums was started again. The export of other products, such as tomatoes, apples, strawberries, courgettes and pumpkins is still not allowed.