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Onion harvest Ukraine forced to start

Russia: “Europe must address illegal export”

The Russians are asking Europe to look into illegal export to Russia. According to the Russian services, no response has come from Europe, despite reports of violations. Small farmers seem unable to benefit from the boycott. In the Rostov region, small companies are seeing that retail is mostly interested in large volumes, sometimes even relabeling illegally imported products. Prices in the region have increased more than average, but figures show clear differences. For seasonal vegetables, prices went down significantly, while citrus became a lot more expensive. The Dutch government has received twenty requests for short-time working. So far, 12 of the requests have been approved, equivalent to 68 workers. In Ukraine, onion growers are waiting to harvest until the last moment. For this reason, part of the harvest was lost due to frost, driving up prices.

Russia: “Europe must address illegal export”
At a meeting between Russia and Europe, the Russian phytosanitary service and customs have discussed illegal import of fruit and vegetables. In the past weeks, several shipments were intercepted. The phytosanitary service says it reports violations in a timely manner, but it gets no response from Europe. The Russians see the banned products arrive at the border with professionally falsified documents. Europe is asked to look into the situation.

Small growers in Rostov worried
Although most small and medium agricultural companies in Rostov would love to supply their products to large retailers, in practice that turns out to be difficult. Retailers prefer working with large batches, but the small farmers are also said to be supplanted by illegal import. Some retailers are reported to import products illegally, replacing the labels. According to the authorities in Rostov, the region has enough potential to deal with the lost import, but for that, Russia would have to invest more in small and medium farmers.

Prices Rostov continue to go up
According to statistics for the first nine months of this year, prices for basic products and services in the Rostov region have gone up by 7.1%. On average, prices in Russia went up by 6.3% during this period. The increase is higher this year than in the same period last year, when prices went up by 4.9%. The price increases aren’t the same for all products, however. The changes vary from a 17.1% decrease for seasonal vegetables, to a 15.9% increase for citrus prices.

Twenty requests short-time working
The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has enabled short-time working for companies hit directly by the Russian sanctions, starting November 1. Until the end of October, twenty companies have filed a request for a total number of 113 workers. 12 of the requests have now been approved, for a total of 68 employees. To be eligible for the plan, a minimum of 20% work reduction has to be reported over a period between 2 to 24 weeks.

Ukraine forced to harvest

Ukrainian onion growers are waiting until the last moment to harvest their onions. Due to low demand and prices, growers started harvesting at the end of October. The harvest was partially necessary because of the low temperatures, but part of the harvest turned out to be frozen already. The growers who were able to harvest in time, having the onions in storage before the frost, drove up prices by 25%. Prices are fluctuating between 0.09-0.12 euros per kilo.

Melon export important for Russia
An Intesco Research Group study shows that melons take up an important position in the market. In 2013, melons were said to make up 25% of export. Although export didn’t increase as much as in 2012, the export amounted to 18 million tonnes. The traditional and largest cultivation areas are Volgograd, Astrakhan, Stavropol and Krasnodar. The main export markets were Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia.

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