Last updateMon, 23 May 2016 12am

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According to statistic data of Federal Customs Service of Russian Federation (FTS) for the year of 2015, import of South African oranges reduced by almost 30% in comparison with 2014. That happened on the background of calls of leaders of the two countries, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of RSA Jacob Zuma to increase supplies of fresh fruits from South Africa to Russia sounded during visit to Moscow of Jacob Zuma in August of 2014. In the opinion of South African and Russian business the main reason of the decline was introduction by Russian side of a trade barrier in the form of special EAC marking which became obligatory from February of 2015.

According to the Ministry of International and Foreign Economic Relations of the Sverdlovsk Oblast, South African entrepreneurs on February 29 will attend a business forum in Yekaterinburg, where the entrepreneurs will bring domestic products to potentially interested consumers.

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. 

South Africa was Russia’s main citrus supplier in February of this year, providing about a quarter of all oranges on the market. However, the devaluation of the Russian ruble has caused problems for Russian importers buying South African citrus in the US currency and exporting companies have been advised to take precaution.

Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosaniary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) reported that that the amount of pesticides found in imported tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, apples and grapes has significantly decreased.

Arriving on the ship “Summer Flower”, 4,000 tonnes of citrus fruits, pears and apples arrived in Russia in the docks of St. Petersburg. This is the first shipment of its kind from South African farmers for the main season and included supplies of citrus and pome fruits. These shipments typically last between May and the end of November.

According to a correspondent of NSK.RBK.Ru, specialists, business representatives and officials, including South African Ambassador to Russia Mandisi Mpahlwa, will visit Novosibirsk Oblast from March 25 – 28.

South Africa has become the biggest supplier of fruits to Russia, mainly citrus. About one quarter of all oranges in the Russian market is of South African origin. Fruits from South Africa are distinguished by super quality. Within 20 years since opening of trade between Russia and RSA there has not been a single claim presented to South African suppliers on phytosanitary or food safety grounds. Russian market has developed into one of basic for South Africa receiving about 12% of all fruits exported by RSA.

Sergey Avdeev, acting head of Novosibirsk customs, said during a conference that the African country of Kenya, which has not previously supplied fruit or vegetables to the Russian region, will soon supply products to the region's grocery outlets.

Press Office of the Russia - Republic of South Africa Business Council discussed possibilities resulting from the Russian ban of fruit and vegetables import from Europe, Norway, USA, Canada and Australia

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