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Italy: Unusual season for apple exports to Russia"The current apple export season to Russia could be defined as unusual. There were many factors that influenced it: the fact that there were smaller grades available (Russia prefers big grades) and the quick devaluation of the rouble which started with the Ukraine crisis," explained Nicola Zanotelli (in the photo) export manager for FROM, the consortium set up by Melinda and la Trentina (for Trentino) and by VOG and VI.P. (for South Tyrol) to enter the Russian market more efficiently.
"Even though the campaign is almost over, we are still concerned about what is happening in Ukraine and we hope that the borders will remain open. Even though it is impossible to make a direct confrontation with 2013 (there was little produce available), I can say that volumes are in line with previous years."
According to Prognosfruit data, Italy supplied Russia with over 60,000 tons of apples in 2010/11 and around 50,000 tons in 2011/12 (which diminished to 29,000 tons in 2012/13). The consortium FROM supplies to Russia 20,000 tons of apples per year.
"Russians tend to prefer green Granny Smiths (from Veneto, Trentino and South Tyrol). Golden Delicious has lost some market shares during the last years, due to some alternative offers at a lower price level than ours. We manage to still sell our apples thanks to the quality of a product which is more and more demanded by a certain target of Russian consumer."
China is no longer so close
China has almost disappeared from the Russian market. Nicola Zanotelli explains that "Chinese Fuji apples are too sweet for Russians, who tend to prefer slightly more acidic fruit. We are more affected by Chinese competition in countries like South-East Asia and India, but they can only play on their prices. In addition, we must see how Chinese domestic consumption will evolve, as China is the most populated country in the world and they will have to supply their domestic market too."
For further info: www.from.bz.it/en
Publication date: 5/14/2014
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