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Israeli pepper exporters look east

The Russian ban on European shipments has stoked demand in Russia for Israeli produce. Though many pepper growers in Israel have switched to other crops in recent years, those that have stuck with peppers are seeing good demand in Russia.

“We are looking east, to Russia,” said Avi Kadan of AdaFresh. “Because of the Russian boycott, we see many requests from Russian importers every day. The phone doesn't stop ringing because those importers are in a panic.” Low prices in recent years caused many growers to abandon their pepper programs. Many others decided to abandon the export market because of unfavourable exchange rates in Europe, so those like AdaFresh, who have stayed in the pepper export business, are now seeing good demand. Though that doesn't mean the Russian market is free of any hurdles. The most important factor for Russian exporters is the risk and unsecured payments from Russian customers which limit the trade.

“We're trying to get good prices, but the issue right now is the exchange rate with the ruble,” explained Kadan. It's also tricky to export to Russia right now because of the capital investment required. While growers can sell their products on the domestic market and get an immediate return, the export trade requires more patience, as it takes longer for an exporter to recoup his money. With more demand in Russia, more product goes there. As more product goes to Russia, there are fewer supplies left for the domestic market, so domestic prices rise. As domestic prices rise, the allure of the export markets dims. The kind of crop Spain has will also factor in to how much Israel exports to Russia.

“We'll try to send as much as we can to Russia, but we don't know how the market will develop in January, when we start to move to Spain,” said Kadan. “The question is how much Spain will send to Europe. If the weather is bad in Spain, it will be good for us, but if the weather is good, then we'll send to Russia."

AdaFresh does all their pepper activities from Israel via their partnership corporation with Haluco Export LTD.

For more information:
Avi Kadan
Adafresh LTD
Tel:+972 73 2332223
Mobile: 52 3336545