Russian import 2014 down 670,000 tonnes

The import of fruit and vegetables in Russia turned out lower last year than in 2013. All in all, 8 million tonnes was imported, 6% below the 2013 level, when nearly 8.5 million tonnes was imported. That means the import returns to a level comparable to 2012, when around 8 million tonnes was imported as well, research from Fruit & Vegetable Facts shows.

In the months before the boycott, the import was above the 2013 import volume for those months. Notably, the share of European countries comes out a bit lower in those months, so more was imported from countries that were also allowed to export after the boycott. After the borders closed in August for products including fruit and veg from Europe, import went down by 20%.

Turkey profits most
The country that profited the most from the boycott, is Turkey. From that country, in the period August-December, nearly 140,000 tonnes, or 25% more, was imported into Russia. According to Russian customs data, during the whole of 2014, over 1.38 million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables was imported from Turkey. The Turkish export statistic shows a virtually identical figure for the Turkish export to Russia, namely 1.33 million tonnes. Other countries that profited from the boycott are China (+10%), Belarus (+35%), Serbia (+36%), Argentina (+68%), Ukraine (+38%), and Macedonia (+228%).

The biggest growth for Turkey was in the export of soft fruit, grapes, lemons, oranges and cucumbers. For China, mainly the volume of pears increased. The export of tomatoes and apples remained virtually the same. Belarus mainly profited with the export of apples, tomatoes, pears, carrots and head cabbage.

Gaps not filled
The gap caused by the boycott, hasn't been filled for a number of products. The imported volume of apples between August and December amounted to 250,000 tonnes, while a year before in the same period 450,000 tonnes of apples were still being imported. For tomatoes, things look rather similar. Where in 2013, 274,000 tonnes was imported in the boycott months, that amount was 194,000 tonnes for the same months in 2014. And things are looking the same for pears. In 2013, 154,000 tonnes were imported in the period August-December. In 2014, that was 95,000 tonnes.

For other products, the import was also not fully compensated. The volume of bananas from Ecuador was also lower in these months than in 2013. All in all, the import of fresh fruit and vegetables in the second half of 2014 came out 20% lower than in 2013, amounting to 600,000 tonnes less import. The import of fruit was lower in particular (-440,000 tonnes), with vegetables seeing a 160,000 tonne decrease.

Over the entire year, the import from the Netherlands did increase. That's mainly caused by an increase in the onion export in the first half of 2014, but the import of tomatoes, pears and head cabbage also went well. All in all, Russia imported 270,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables from the Netherlands last year.

Click here to read the full report.

More information:

Fruit & Vegetable Facts
Jan Kees Boon
T: +31 6 54 687 684

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