Europe: The Russian ban closes the door to 110,000 tons of citrus fruit

"The situation is unprecedented, as the second main global importer closed the doors to its main supplier (EU-28)," reveals Freshfel, the European fruit and vegetable producer association.

The fruit and vegetable import trend in Russia in 2011-2013, before the ban.

In 2011, Russia imported 1,852,625 tons of fruit and vegetables. The following year, that figure rose to 2,173,400 tons and again to 2,184,954 tons in 2013.

European products represented 23% of total imports in 2011, 27% in 2012 and 26% in 2013. Of the total export of fresh produce to Russia, 5-6% was made up of citrus fruit.

European fruit and vegetable exports to Russia per type (click here to enlarge).

EU members were not the only ones affected by the ban, but they are the countries that suffered the most from it. In 2013, the US exported to Russia 28,992 tons of produce, Australia shipped 3,383 tons, and Japan, Canada and Norway sent 173, 118 and 50 tons respectively. If we add all these up, we reach 32,716 tons, which is still far away from the 2.2 million tons from Europe.

Fresh and vegetable imports from extra-EU countries now affected by the ban (click here to enlarge).

The thing is, now the EU must find other destinations for its over 2 million tons of fresh produce. Luckily, it might not be an impossible task, because Russia must source the products elsewhere which in turn means there must be a gap on the market somewhere.

Turkey could be the one benefiting from the Russian ban the most, as it is the third supplier after Ecuador and the EU. Others could be China, Morocco, Israel and Egypt.

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