Re-export turned away again due to error in documents

Russia replaces European produce: more expensive and worse quality

That Russian customs closely scrutinizes documents, becomes apparent once again, with a grapefruit shipment being turned away at the border. The citrus was on its way to the Russian market from South Africa, via a Dutch trader, and because there were no South African documents, the Russians assumed it to be European fruit that was illegally exported to Russia. Russian retail says they succeed in replacing European produce with fruit and vegetables from non-banned countries. A downside is that prices have gone up, and authorities also admit there are obvious differences in quality. And a Chilean trade delegation visited Russia to make agreements with retailers. The stronger position of retailers leads them to opting for direct import increasingly often.

The European Commission has stopped the compensation plan for storage of cheese. The industry was compensated in a similar manner to the fruit and veg sector. As happened in the fruit and veg sector, it turned out that cheese producers were claiming more than had been exported to Russia.

South African grapefruit stopped
Russian authorities have stopped a shipment of grapefruit at the border, because the paperwork was not in order. The South African citrus reached Russia via a Dutch trader. Although the documents stated South Africa as the country of origin, South African papers were missing. Hence, Russian customs concluded that this was an attempt to illegally sell European grapefruits in Russia. The shipment was sent back to the Netherlands.

Chilean trade delegation in Russia
A trade delegation from Chile is visiting Russia to make agreements with Russian retailers. Asoex, ProChile, the Chilean Kiwi Committee and others are participating in the trip. The exporters are seeing a lot of opportunities for increasing export. The South American country is reported to export 107,000-108,000 tonnes directly to St. Petersburg already. The Chileans see a lot of potential in the Russian market, which is expanding along with the purchasing power of the average Russian. The position of retailers is also becoming stronger, which is why they are increasingly looking to import directly. That provides opportunities for Chilean exporters.

Russia starts building greenhouses
In four of Russia’s European regions, a lot of work is being done to build new greenhouses. The projects are carried out by the ‘Greenhouse Development Technology’ company, which implements new techniques in the greenhouses. The goal is to be able to grow quality products year-round in 2017, and to become less dependent on import. In the period between November and June, the largest part of consumed vegetables, 7 kilos per person, consists of imported produce. For next year, over 50,000 MT will have to be harvested. The budget for the entire project is 10-12 billion roubles (200-240 million euros). In total, 71 hectares of greenhouses are built. The greenhouse employees are being educated in the Netherlands.

Russia can go without EU and US
According to Russian retailers, they succeeded in replacing most of the banned products. Finding replacements for meat, fish, and cheese turned out to be the most difficult for supermarkets. Potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, apples, citrus and melons are easiest to replace, according to the Russians. A downside is that prices have gone up, and there are clear differences in quality.
The Russian phytosanitary service points out that the new suppliers’ fruit and vegetables differ from the European products. Differences in cultivation conditions and the use of pesticides are said to be the cause of this. For instance, the fruit and vegetables look less attractive.

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