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Ruble down again

Turkish citrus sector calls for government action

The Turkish citrus sector has called on the government to take action to limit the loss the sector is now seeing. The sector is in a difficult situation now that Russia has closed its borders. Traders are looking for alternative solutions both within Turkey and abroad. And Ankara is considering its own set of sanctions. On the Russian side, people are taking steps to become self sufficient. The Ruble has fallen again after a relatively stable period, due in part to the ever decreasing oil price. By invitation, Russia visited Germany to inspect the seeds.

Turkish citrus growers wait for a solution
The Turkish citrus sector has been hit hard by the Russian boycott. Rifat Karabucak from Adana Citrus Producers Association said to the Turkish media that the sector will not be able to easily overcome this loss. Alternative markets are not enough. But he does believe that government measures could help the situation. For example, the domestic market can be further developed to increase Turkish consumption. 



The citrus export is mainly made up of lemons (42%), tangerines (27%), oranges (18%) and grapefruit (13%). Most of the citrus is exported to Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Saudia Arabia. 
When Russia announced the boycott, Cukurova, the region where 70% of the Turkish citrus is grown, had already harvested 30% of the crops. In response to the boycott the growers will most likely leave a part of the crops hanging, "Citrus growers are in a difficult situation," says Rifat. "Thousands of households depend on this sector. This could cause huge problems in society."

Turkey looks to its neighbours
"Now that the Russian market is closed we are focusing on the Middle East," says the vice president of the Turkish Wholesale Hall Federation. "There is no reason to worry, we are are in a position to take control of this situation." Because of the boycott more product stays with the wholesalers in Turkey. There are no alternative markets for these products. According to the vice president, the results for the growers are not yet horrible. 

Turkey not ruling out its own set of sanctions
The Turkish authorities are considering their own sanctions against Russia, reports Fruit Inform. "Russia imposed sanctions. If we think it is necessary, we will also impose sanctions," said the Prime Minister. According to the Turks, the country will not be harmed. Ankara is open to having dialogue with Moscow. 

Russian greenhouse complex will have to make up for the missing export
Cherepovets, a city north of Moscow, is one of the four cities that has been selected for the building of a greenhouse complex. The goal is to replace the boycotted products from Europe and Turkey in a short period of time. Together with the government, a company from Moscow is investing in the greenhouses. If all the documents are signed, construction will begin summer 2016. The greenhouses should provide more than 10,000 tons of cucumbers and tomatoes annually and bring in many jobs. 

Ruble down again
The Russian Ruble has fallen again after the price of oil fell further. Currently, the exchange rate is 69 Rubles to 1 US dollar, and 75 Rubles to 1 Euro. According to experts, the depreciation in the value of the Ruble has to do with the falling price of oil. At the end of last week OPEC met, but they failed to create a new production quota. The oil exporting countries, who account for a third of global oil production, are keeping production at 30 million barrels a day (officially 31.5 million barrels are being pumped). The price of oil fell because of this. The oil market is under pressure now that Iran has more freedom on the world market and the United States is pumping more (shale) oil. 

Turkish truckers choose the Caspian Transport Corridor
Because Turkish truckers encounter many delays at the Russian border, routes are being shifted to the Caspian Transport Corridor. Through this route (which crosses Iran, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia) Turkey has access to other markets. To complete the route, Turkey must finish the last phase of the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway. Through this route Turkey has access to the Central Asian hinterland without having to pass through Russia. 

Russian mobile border controls
The Russian government is setting up mobile border controls on the border with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The goal of the mobile controls is to act more effectively against the importation of illegal products. The customs authorities of both of these countries have been informed.

Inspecting German seeds
After Russia's phytosanitary service reported on the inspection of seeds in the Netherlands last week, they are now visiting German companies from December 10-17. The German Ministry of Food and Agriculture invited Russia to carry out the inspections. A quota will be set following the inspections. 

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