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Russian retail starts own cultivation

Price decreases due to delayed EU compensation

Greek exporters report decreasing prices, due to confusion regarding the new EU compensation plan. Because of the lack of clarity, growers opt for selling their products at lower prices, rather than waiting for compensation. In Russia, retailers are investing in own cultivation. By investing in construction of greenhouses, supermarkets are looking to keep shelves stocked. In other regions, local produce is promoted with a 'Made in Buryatia' label, or investments are being made in storage facilities, in order to be able to offer affordable products during the winter months as well.

No room for Argentine apples in Russia?
Argentine apple exporters are not expecting much concerning next season's opportunities on the Russian market. One exporter says a lot of fruit is currently on the Russian market, particularly from CIS countries (former Soviet republics). These countries have increased their export recently, and China is also expected to export more top fruit to Russia.

Belarus re-exports Moldovan fruit
Where Moldova is trying to get the Russians to lift the ban on the one hand, Moldova is also using Belarus to export to Russia. Although there's not direct evidence for this, export of Moldovan apples and plums to Belarus have risen dramatically: apples +2300% and plums +500%. Analysts think the fruit is entering the Russian market.

Russian retailers starting own cultivation
Due to the boycott, retailers have to find other ways to stock the shelves. Remarkably, four of the five biggest retail chains of the country are investing in own cultivation. Metro Cash&Carry, the fourth retailer by revenue, reports working on constructing its own greenhouses for fruit and vegetable cultivation. The fifth on the ranking, Dixie, is negotiating a partnership with growers. Dixie wants to invest in these companies, or sign long-term contracts.
Market leader Krasnodar Magnit already had its own greenhouses, where cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and other products were being grown. The Green Line project has an area of 43 hectares. The greenhouse was built in 2011, and in 2013 the greenhouses supplied 600 MT tomatoes and 15,000 MT cucumbers for the supermarkets. The retailer is looking to expand this by 40 hectares. 

Ulyanovsk, Russia is stocking up
The Ulyanovsk region is investing in new storage facilities. For instance, a high-tech storage facility is to be built for 12,000 MT of vegetables, including washing and packing lines. With the storage space, the regional government is looking to guarantee supplies at a reasonable price during the winter months. According to the regional minister of Agriculture, over 80% of potatoes and 55% of vegetables has already been harvested. The potato harvest will amount to over 14,000 MT, with a total yield of 12 tonnes per hectare. For vegetables, that's 7400 MT and 13.5 tonnes/ha.

Tropical fruit more expensive
The regional government of Novosibirsk says the price for the 40 most important foods in the region hasn't increased dramatically. The price increases match inflation, and are lower than last year. With the harvest season over, some prices have gone up, however. Tropical fruit, such as mangoes, mandarins, bananas and lemons, have become more expensive. Since the beginning of the year, lemon prices have gone up by 65%. Apples cost 10% more. Novosibirsk is in sixth place on the ranking with the greatest price increases. The top five comprises Siberia, Khakassia, Altai, Tomsk and Omsk.

Local for local label in Buryatia
In order to promote consumption of local produce, the government of Buryatia has started to use a new label: 'Made in Buryatia'. According to official government figures, the potato acreage is 10,800 hectares, with a yield of 12.2 tonnes per hectare. The vegetable acreage is 1500 hectares. The region wants to increase the year-round cultivation of greenhouse vegetables, and is investing in modern greenhouses. According to the government, the new greenhouses are stiff competition for the import.

Greek exporters: price decreases due to confusion EU compensation

According to Greek fruit exporters Incofruit-Hellas, prices are going down because publication of the new EU compensation has been delayed. "This delay has had serious consequences for market prices of fruit and vegetables", the exporters say. Fruit and vegetables are now bought and sold without reference prices", the exporters say. "So we urge the EU to make haste with this announcement, so as to stabilize the market. It's an issue that has consequences for the producers, who have to decided whether or not to being marketing yet." The prices have already gone down by 35%. According to exporters, that's partially caused by all the confusion surrounding the compensation. That's causing growers to sell produce at low prices, rather than to wait and see when the compensation plan will come into force.

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