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Growers Lithuania refuse EU compensation

Dutch exporters smuggle through Turkey

Russia accuses Poland of illegal re-export, so it closed its borders last week for all products from Poland. The Eastern European country is reported to transport Polish produce under a false label as re-export to Russia. Traders from other countries are also reportedly using smuggling routes. The Netherlands and Spain were recently mentioned in the media in connection with the smuggling. The Canadian borders are opened to Belgian pears. The agreement was reached after efforts from Belgium and the EU For other EU member states, similar trade agreements are on the table. In the Czech Republic, apple prices have gone down to 30%. The country is mainly hit indirectly by the boycott, and gets little compensation from the EU for that reason. Growers in Lithuania refuse to destroy produce, so they are not entitled to receive compensation. As a result, growers are in danger of bankruptcy. And negotiations between Russia and Jordan and Iran are still going. Both countries want to significantly increase export of fruit and vegetables to Russia.

Ukraine fourth apple exporter Russia
According to Fruit Inform figures, the Ukrainian apple export to Russia has quadrupled in August compared to the same month a year before. The country exported over 3,000 tonnes of apples, ranking fourth on the list. The largest apple suppliers on the Russian market are China, Serbia and Azerbaijan. The increase is thanks to the boycott of the EU and Moldova, which were the largest exporters to Russia.

Poland exports more plums to Ukraine
The import of Polish plums in Ukraine was three times higher last summer. Polish export amounted to 1400 tonnes, with the country having a 70% market share. Cause of the increased import is the significant decrease of Ukrainian plum cultivation due to frost in spring. Therefore, Ukraine has become an alternative market for plum growers in the EU and Moldova.

Russia accuses Poland of illegal export
Last week, Russia closed its borders to re-export from Poland, without further explanation. In Russian media, Rosselkhoznadzor, the inspection responsible for food quality, is accusing Poland of exporting Polish produce under a re-export label. Incidentally, this new ban also affects trade in seeds and seedlings through Poland. And India has disappeared as a new export market for Polish apples as well, for now. Despite Polish efforts, the apples turned out not to meet India's phytosanitary demands.

Dutch exporters smuggle through Turkey
Poland is not the only country trying to circumvent the boycott through smuggling routes and ringing products. In the Netherlands, there are also traders who export produce in blank boxes to Turkey, where a 'Made in Turkey' label is stuck on. This conduct is illegal, and exporters risk a fine from Dutch authorities, who have tightened controls. The KCB has discovered four cases in which Dutch exporters used blank boxes for illegal export to Russia. Spain is also reportedly exporting produce under the 'Made in Morocco' label. The Polish example shows that illegally exporting countries also run the risk of losing access to the Russian market with re-export.

Iran in talks with Russia
The 'Golden Autumn' fair in Moscow was visited by Iranian companies looking to increase trade with Russia. Elsewhere in Moscow, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation met. This is a partnership of six countries in Central Asia. Members include Russia and China. Iran is, like India, Mongolia and Pakistan, a candidate member. A delegation of Iranian agricultural experts and business people travelled along to meet with Russian representatives in the corridors.

African countries see export opportunities
Several African countries have big plans to increase export to Russia. Morocco reports increasing export by 15% next year. Last year, 12% of total export went to Russia. Kenya wants to offer Russia a more diverse range, and increase the existing export. For South Africa, Russia is the most important destination for citrus. The country also wants to export more apples, grapes, vegetables and other products. Russia purchases 12% of the total export, coming in fourth behind Europe (42%), the Middle East (20%) and Asia (16%). Russia offers more favourable rates to members of the Southern African Customs Union. The customs union includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Canada opens borders for Belgian pears
On October 24, the Canadian borders will open to Belgian pears. The agreement is to alleviate the damage caused by the Russian boycott. The agreement was closed after efforts from the Belgian sector and government, and the EU. Negotiations had been running for some time, but the EU urged Canada to make haste with the approval. For France, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands, similar agreements are on the table.

Jordan negotiates with Russia
A trade delegation from Jordan visited Moscow to discuss the export of fruit and vegetables. The Russians are reportedly interested in buying Jordanian produce. Jordan lost Iraq and Syria as export markets due to the unrest in the region. Russia is mainly interested in tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and strawberries.

Growers Lithuania: "EU compensation criminal"
The organization for the agricultural industry in Lithuania says that growers in the country are in danger of disappearing due to the Russian boycott. The biggest accusation is reserved for the EU and the compensation plan. According to growers in the country, it's "criminal" to destroy fruit and vegetables for money. Lithuania would rather see the produce being donated to countries with large shortages. That's why growers are refusing to destroy the harvest. Because of this attitude, they are not eligible for the European compensation.

Czech apple prices -30%
A good harvest and the closed Russian borders have caused a price decreased of 20-30% for Czech apples. The harvest came out 2% higher this year: 123,000 tonnes. That's 9% higher than the five-year average. Prices are between 8 and 13 crowns (29-47 Euro cents) per kilo. Last year, the price was between 40-58 Euro cents. The selling price in supermarkets is between 0.91 and 1.09 Euro. The prices paid by the processing industry have gone down by 60%. The Czech Republic only gets a small share of the compensation paid by the EU. The compensation is only available for countries that exported directly to Russia.
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