The Russian government has announced that it is to extend its embargo on imports of food from the US, the EU, Norway, Australia, Ukraine and Canada. The ban has been in place since August 7, 2014 regarding products from the US, the EU, Australia, and will now be extended until December 31st 2020. The measure is a response to economic sanctions imposed by other countries on Russia in protest at its annexation of Crimea. Other non-food goods are also included in the respective bans.
Russia extends ban on food imports up to end of 2020
Russian Ministry of Agriculture announced the results of 2019
The 2018 showed the positive trend of vegetable production in Russia, informed the representatives of Russian Ministry of Agriculture. Total crop of potato amounted to 22.4 million tons, comparing to 21.7 million in 2017. Total crop of vegetables was 13.6 million tons, the same as in 2017. The production of hothouses vegetables exceeded one million ton; it is the record figure. Key tendency is the increase of tomatoes production that grew by 25% and amounted to 380,000 tons in 2018 along with the decrease of cucumbers share.
Russia returns to being number-one market for Turkish produce
Russia is now the number-one destination for Turkey’s fresh produce. The remarkable turn-around follows swiftly on the heels of Russia lifting the sanctions imposed on Turkish produce following the downing of one of its military fighter jets. In the first two months of 2019, Turkey exported approximately $366 million worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, with Russia alone accounting for $105 million. According to Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association (DKİB) data, Turkey exported 697,577 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to 100 countries in January and February.
Massive growth of Russian vegetable output
Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced that greenhouse vegetable production is set to hit 1.3 million tons this year, vastly outstripping last year’s record crop (1.1 million tons). And this exponential growth is showing no sign of slowing down, with forecasts of reaching around 2 million tons within five years, thanks partly to sizeable government funding, which almost doubled last year to Rbs240 million. The country’s winter greenhouse production area climbed by over 10% to 2,500ha in 2018, with the strategic Stavropol Territory seeing a 5% increase in volumes to 290,500 tons.
Dutch and Belgian fruit continues to reach Russia despite sanctions
EU produce is managing to find its way onto the shelves of Russian supermarkets in defiance of sanctions issued by President Putin against the EU. According to a report by Volkskrant, a smuggling trade is allowing Dutch and Belgian produce to circumvent these measures, with an estimated €240 million worth of pears arriving since the ban was first put into place in August 2014 in response to EU sanctions against Russia.
Russia expects 12.3% rise in vegetable output in 2018
Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture has published figures estimating the best vegetable harvest for ten years, including one million tons of greenhouse vegetables, up 12.3%. The increase in yields is due to the country’s new state-subsidised winter greenhouses. Experts believe that a bumper harvest will not affect the prices of domestic products. The Ministry of Agriculture plans to increase the production of greenhouse vegetables to 1.5 million tons by 2024.
Russian consumers follow European trends
Russian consumers have been following world trends, increasing the consumption of fresh produces, purchasing ready-to-eat vegetables and toughening the quality and food safety standards.
During last 3 years, the area of vegetables grown in hothouses in Russia has increased by some 4%, while the crop volume has grown by 13-14%, say the specialists of Interagro Projects Company. In 2017 total protected area grew by 136 ha; the crop of vegetables amounted to 922,000 tons. The leaders in terms of volume are Krasnodar, Moscow, Stavropol and Volgograd regions.
Russia to end reliance on imported potato
With the on-going sanctions limiting Russia’s imports, the country is reshaping its domestic potato production so that the country no longer has to rely on the world to provide its French fries. In 2017, Russia imported 94% of its French fries but has now invested in the necessary equipment to produce it locally, according to Sergey Korolev, head of Russia’s National Horticultural Union. With the market demand currently for around 106,000 tons annually, the new equipment has the capacity to produce 110,000 tons.
Mushroom production in Russia has been growing steadily
Mushroom production has been growing dynamically in Russia, informs Interagro Company basing on its industry and market researches. Thus, mushroom production has doubled during last two years, reaching 20,000 tons by the end of 2017. The experts believe this figure will double again by the end of 2018.
Russian imports of fruit and vegetables up by 17% in 2017
Russian imports of fresh fruit and vegetables have grown considerably over the past year. The total of 7.1 million tons arriving from abroad in 2017 constitutes a rise of 17% over the 2016 level. Nevertheless, this figure is still well below the 2013 level - the year before the trade embargo came into force - when almost 8.5 million tons of fresh fruit and vegetables were imported into Russia. The recovery is due in part to the Russian Government lifting its own trade embargoes on various Turkish products in 2017 and also thanks to the arrival of record volumes of Ecuadorian bananas.