According to data published in the latest Foreign News Bulletin of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 389,300 tons of vegetables have been harvested in greenhouses in Russia up until April 28, 2020, which is 29.4% more than in the same period of 2019. Specifically, the greenhouse cucumber harvest amounted to 274,600 tons (+30%), and that of tomatoes stood at 107,600 tons (+30%).
This year, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture expects a record production of greenhouse vegetables that could reach at least 1.25 million tons; 9.6% more than in 2019. This growth is due to investments made in the modernization of greenhouses and in the construction of new ones, according to the director of the National Union of Fruit and Vegetable Producers, Mikhail Glushkov. In the last five years, more than 1,100 hectares of greenhouses have been built in the country.
Russia's objective is to become self-sufficient in the supply of vegetables. At the moment, it is already able to meet 90% of the cucumber demand and 60% of the tomato one. Meanwhile, the veto on European fruit and vegetable productions, introduced in August 2014, is still in force.
In 2013, before the veto, Spanish fruit and vegetable exports to Russia totaled 230,729 tons, covering a wide range of products, but the actual volume was thought to be much higher, given the importance of re-exports from other Member States, such as France, the Netherlands and Poland. Of the total exported by Spain to Russia in 2013, a total of 161,356 tons corresponded to fruits and almost 80,000 tons to vegetables.
FEPEX, as well as various other fruit and vegetable associations in the Member States, have asked the Commission to pursue negotiations for the opening of the Russian market, whose veto is expected to end on December 31 of this year. However, the Russian policy of promoting the domestic production, as well as the strengthening of the presence of other countries, such as Turkey or Morocco, among other factors, may entail that when the Russian market reopens, it will have neither the size nor the characteristics that it had before the veto.