Possible increase in fruit exports to Russia

"Chile: "Some producers might be able to meet the Russian demand"

Entrepreneurs from the Chilean agribusiness sector are negotiating an increase in the short-term export of apples, plums and dried salmon to Russia after Moscow asked Chile to replace the foods from Europe that were banned from entering the country. 

"The Russians have asked us to help them get suppliers. We are in the process of negotiating and finding suppliers, "said Diego Vicente, manager of the Business Development Platform (BDP), which was created by the National Society of Agriculture promoting Chilean exports to Russia. 

Even though Chile is in winter and its ability to redirect exports is limited, some producers would be able to meet the Russian demand. 

"They are finalizing business in some categories such as salmon and prunes," said the BDP manager with offices in Moscow and Santiago. 

"There are some volumes of apples that are being redistributed to Russia, because they were buying them from Poland but can't do it anymore because of the ban, and Chile was one of the countries that had stock to offer," he added. 

According to Vicente, "everything we negotiate will be shipped in the coming weeks." 

Trade and policy apart 
Chile mainly exports fresh and dried fruits, seafood such as salmon and shellfish, meat and processed foods to Russia. According to the Chilean government, the country's exports to Russia amounted to $643 million dollars in 2013, 52% more than in 2012. 

Last week, Andres Rebolledo, Director of International Economic Relations, said that Chile saw the Russian ban on food imports from Europe, a response to the European sanctions imposed on them because of the crisis in Ukraine, as an opportunity. 

"This is strictly a business issue. Our foreign policy positions are clear. (...) They are separate channels, "Rebolledo said. 

Currently, the Russian market is the sixth largest market for Chilean food exports. 

"We give this market the greatest importance. It is one of the most important ones because the composition of their main exports aren't mining products, on the contrary, they are food, at a time when food trade in the world is key," said Carlos Furche, Minister of Agriculture, when he visited Moscow in June. 

Two months ago, a large delegation of 40 Chilean businessmen led by Furche, visited Russia in an attempt to deepen trade ties between both countries. 

Source: biobiochile.cl

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