Turkish lemons going to Russia

Turkish market feels first blows from boycott

Russia says the list with boycotted products will not be expanded, for the time being. Although Putin did say they will keep the possibility to expand the sanction list open. The damage to Turkey thus far has been 746 million dollars. While the boycott is not yet in force, there are already reports of falling prices in Turkey. Israeli exporters are looking to Russia, but they are cautious after the problems last year. 

Turkish lemons still welcome
The boycott on Turkey, that Russia announced last week, does not effect the import of lemons. According to Russian media, it is difficult to find alternative lemon suppliers. Between January and October Turkey shipped 90,000 tons of lemons worth 53.8 million dollars to Russia. Other large citrus suppliers for the Russian market are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Romania. 

Turkish agriculture requires support
The Turkish agriculture sector has asked the government to take measures to stabilize the fruit and vegetable market. Prices have fallen since Russia announced the import ban last week. According to industry representatives, 'unexpected panic' prevails throughout the market. Russia has sent back 160 tons of fruit and vegetables to Turkey, even though the boycott does not officially begin until 2016. Although this volume is reasonably small, the announcement of the boycott was enough to cause prices to fall by forty percent. Turkish traders are putting pressure on the prices with the argument that there are no export markets for the products. Exporters are looking for new markets to compensate for the loss, but according to experts, that will not happen in the short term. 

Turkish products await the same fate as European products
The Russian inspection service said that illegally imported products from Turkey will meet the same fate as European products. The European products were sent back to the exporting party or destroyed. The inspectorate says the presidential decree allows them to destroy Turkish products as well. 

Turkish fruit price in Crimea has increased sharply
The price of Turkish fruit in Crimea has increased sharply since the boycott was announced. According to reports, prices have doubled. The government of Crimea has gone a step further than the Kremlin and has banned all imports from Turkey. Tangerine prices rose from 50-70 rubles per kilo to 120-150 rubles per kilo. The same story with oranges, from 70-85 rubles to 120-130 rubles per kilo. 

Georgia wants better relations with Russia
The Georgian government is aware that there are opportunities in trade with Russia, although nothing at the political level has been done yet. The government wants to normalize trade relations with Russia. The government has confirmed that officially no contact has been made yet with Russia. The Minister of Agriculture said that the country is worried about developments in the relationship between Russia and Turkey. In the first ten months of this year Georgian export to Russia has fallen by 107 million dollars. 

Israel looks cautiously to Russia
After Russia announced the boycott they told Israel that they were on the list of countries that could play a greater role on the Russian market. The Israeli industry is cautiously optimistic. On Israeli media a grower says he sees the potential, but he is also cautious, "Last year we were optimistic when Putin closed the borders to European products, we thought we could earn a lot of money. We ended up losing money due to problems on the Russian market." The devaluation of the ruble had major consequences for exporters who took rapid steps towards exporting to Russia.

Turkish cucumbers intercepted
During a phytosanitary control of twenty tons of cucumbers from Turkey the Russian inspectorate found 1.3 times the permitted amount of the substance diazinon. It is not clear what happened after they found this. 

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