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"Kris Wouter: "No influence on trade yet"

"If Russia borders close, minimal options left for top fruit"

The situation in Ukraine has great influence on the European trade with Russia.
Kris Wouters from Fruit Trade Wouters explains that they don't notice much of this in the field of top fruit. 
To him Russia is the most important consuming market. "For now we do not notice much of the situation, but it all depends on what Europe will do. If they are openly going to support Ukraine against Russia then we can expect something. But so far there are no real sanctions".

He explains that they have sold a lot of pears to Russia in the last two weeks. "The biggest part of the battle has already been fought. It is not done yet but normally the current numbers should not become a problem if we keep sorting gradual. Unless of course something unexpected happens". At first there was no shortage of large pears. "The larger sizes are still the same in terms of price. Thankfully the smaller sizes have gotten more expensive, until a month ago these were still sold under cost price, but this has now somewhat improved. It has increased by between 5 to 10 cents".

According to Kris the story is the same when it comes to apples. "The Primo and Jonagored are running very well but the larger sizes Jonagold are becoming almost unsellable to Russia. It is really limited to Primo and Jonagored but only the ones of high quality".

When it comes to pears, Russia is the most important market for Belgium. What will happen if the borders of Russia actually close? "One thing that's a fact at the moment is the development of fruit is getting more expensive for the Russians. Even if our prices remain stable but the Rouble decreased in comparison with the Euro the import product will become more expensive. An other fact is: we don't see much of what is going on in the Ukraine but if Europe shows too much support to Ukraine or hands out sanctions against Russia then you can expect them to do the same. Potatoes and pork are no longer allowed into the country and we are afraid that the rest will follow soon".

He explains that they just have to wait it out and no concrete plan is formed yet. "With the EHEC-crisis three years ago we also knew it was hanging over our heads but you just have to continue with your sales and hope nothing will happen. We will see how we will resolve things if the borders indeed close. You just don't have an influence on things. The Belgian market has some options to export to other markets. Everyone is looking left and right for new business connections. Of course some of it is going to China but these amounts could not save us if things go bad in Russia. Hopefully it will all end well".

Voor meer informatie:
Wouters Fruithandel
Kris Wouters
Tel: +32 11586190
Fax: +32 11581041
[email protected]
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