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Author: Irina Koziy, RK Marketing/Fruit News Director

There is an active, ongoing discussion in media regarding a story about an export scheme in which Polish fruits were passed off as Moldovan with counterfeit certificates. Even federal television channels gave screen time to the revelation of this issue. Moldovan officials and businessmen from Belarus, Lithuania and Estonia are being blamed for the "Moldovication" of 20 thousand tonnes of Polish products that had found a second home in the eastern European country.

According to Bruno Marme, director of operations of Agronom-sad, which is developing an apple orchard in the Lebedyani Lipetsk Oblast, staff shortages and staff turnover are major issues facing the horticulture industry in Russia.

"We would be able to produce not 40 tonnes per hectare but 60 tonnes per hectare if we can solve this problem," he said.

Fruit is the biggest segment of trade between South Africa (RSA) and Russia. Trade between the two countries began in the 90s and 2000s, during which time fruit accounted for 60 percent of the trade turnover. As trade of other commodities increased of , the share of fruit of SA exports dropped to 30-35% of the turnover, remaining a substantial part of trade relations between the two countries, according to Mikhail Fateev, head of the Food and Agriculture Sector of Russia-RSA Business Council, whose analysis of the situation is contained here in this article. 

Despite favorable results for the 2015 crop year, which saw good climatic conditions and desirable overall fruit size, European growers suffered losses.

According to data presented by analysts studying the value of exported products, 2014 was more productive in terms of exports than the previous four years. The total value of shipments under the category of 08TN traders increased by 0.5 percent and amounted to $82.9 million in monetary terms (a negative trade balance equals $5.324 billion).

For the first five months of 2015, imports of fresh fruits from distant foreign countries dropped 6.6 percent. Simultaneously, an increase in the value of imports for fresh vegetables was recorded at 15.6 percent.

In 2014, Russia's supplies to Syria accounted for 8.4 percent of the near east country's imports. Other exporting countries to this market were: Saudi Arabia with a share of 24.5 percent, United Arab Emirates with a share of 12.1 percent and Iran with an 8.9 percent share.

Last year, Russia became a main supplier to the Uzbek market by occupying a share of 23.8 percent of its import market. The monetary value of the trade turnover between the two countries was $3.96 billion, a 2.6 percent drop on the year from a monetary value of $4.6 billion.

Last year the volume of trade turnover between Russia and Portugal reached a monetary value of $784 million. This result was 41.5 percent lower than in 2013 which was $1.34 billion. Of the total $202.4 million (a decrease of 68.9 percent compared to the previous year), the supply of products from Russia and $582.4 million (a decrease of 15.8 percent) in products from Portugal.

In 2014, Russia supplied just 2.3 percent of the volume of Spain's imports. The monetary value of trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $8.9 billion. This indicator is 19 percent less than in 2013 when the trade turn over amounted to $10.9 billion.

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