Inflation 2015 rising to 10%

Indian grapes to Russia, not to EU

The Russian government is working on stricter rules for foreign parties wanting to purchase farmland. Investors from Turkey and China would be particularly interested in the land, which the government now tries to discourage. For next year, the Kremlin expects price increases of up to 10%. And with the upcoming holidays, Russian media took stock of prices of a number of exotics. Indian exporters see demand for grapes in Russia increase due to the closed borders. Seeing how European demand early in the season turns out lower, India can fully focus on regional markets. And a USDA report shows the development of agriculture in Uzbekistan. Acreages and volumes have increased significantly over the past ten years, and this growth is expected to continue.



Early Indian grapes for Russia
Grape exporters from India are focusing on Russia. Now that European, American and Australian grapes cannot enter Russia, Indian exporters see demand go up. The season has started well for the exporters. On the other hand, India sees demand from Europe shift toward later in the season, when quality and volumes are better. Because of this, Indian exporters can focus on markets in nearby countries at the start of the season. In addition to Russia, demand in a number of Southeast Asian countries has also gone up.

Russian land for Russians
The government in Moscow has drafted strict requirements for the purchase of farmland by foreign parties or Russian companies in foreign hands. Government and parliament agree on this, and are working on the new rules. According to parliament, foreign parties have 5 million ha of Russian farmland in their possession. Mainly investors from Turkey and China are investing in farmland. Turkish investors have reportedly purchased up to 800,000 ha of farmland in 2010. Chinese investors are more interested in farmland in the east. There are also opponents of the measures. They point out that foreign companies are among the most successful agricultural companies.

Inspection discloses figures
The Russian phytosanitary inspection has disclosed figures on inspections and the number of refused shipments. According to the service, 5% of shipments at the Belarusian border did not meet the requirements. Since the service set up checkpoints in the Smolensk and Bryansk regions, 6760 shipments (120,000 tonnes) were inspected at these points. Of those, 350 shipments did not meet the requirements. With over half of the refused shipments, the certificate was missing.

Price increases of up to 10% expected
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development expects prices for food to go up by 9.5-10%. According to the ministry, the boycott is responsible for 2.5% of price increases. The decreasing value of the rouble would account for price increases of 4%. Rosstat, the Russian statistics service, calculated that prices went up by 8.5% this year. In November, prices increased by 1.3% on average. Fruit and vegetables got 8.7% more expensive.

Cultivation and export Uzbekistan increasing
Uzbekistan is one of the countries that seem to benefit since the start of the boycott. The Central Asian country has seen enormous growth in the past years. Acreages and volumes increased significantly. According to USDA figures, the total acreage has increased by a factor 1.2 in the past 10 years. Volume-wise, the organization reports a growth of 97.9%. According to estimates for this year, 2.47 million tonnes of fruit and 11.28 million tonnes of vegetables were harvested. According to experts, these figures will be 2.3 times larger in 2020. There are also challenges. After the harvest in particular, a lot still goes wrong. There's a lot of loss due to damages during harvest, insufficient hygiene demands and inadequate storage capacity. 
Before 2016, export of agricultural products has to increase to 500,000 tonnes. Russia and Kazakhstan are two main export markets. In September, the country exported 400 million dollars' worth of fresh produce to Russia.

Omsk and China partnering
A delegation from China visited the Russian region of Omsk to discuss trade. The Chinese are willing to supply agricultural products and fruit and vegetables, in return for malting barley and dairy products. Customs in the Omsk region say the number of attempts to import banned fresh produce increased with the upcoming holidays. At the border with Kazakhstan, several shipments were intercepted, of which the certificates weren't in order.

Chinese fresh produce export increased
Chinese export of fruit and vegetables increased this year. During the first eleven months of the year, China exported 27.2% more, a volume of 318,000 tonnes. Money-wise, the export amounted to 135 million dollars, 19.4% more than in the same period last year.

Exotics popular in Russia
Just like in Europe, exotics are in demand around the holidays in Russia as well. Russian media visited a supermarket, taking stock of a number of available products and prices. A Tamarillo sells for about 1.40 Euro apiece, Rambutan costs around 1.60 Euro per 100 grammes, Lychees cost over 1.70 Euro per 100 grammes. The Kiva costs a lot more, at 254 roubles (3.70 Euro) each, just like the Feijoa. This exotic fruit sells for 2069 roubles, which is a little over 30 Euro.

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