Last updateMon, 23 May 2016 12am

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The volume of Uzbek agricultural imports since the start of the year have increased by 10% with citrus fruit having increased by a factor of 54, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

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.

Arriving from the port of Latakia, 1,600 tonnes of produce, most of which is citrus fruits, are to arrive in Russia as the second export of its kind from Syria in two weeks.

Following a recent report that announced the Russian government's intention to decrease duties on imports of Brussel’s sprouts, broccoli, pistachios, figs and raisins, officials are now looking to add oranges, caraway and anise seeds to the list, according to media reports and confirmed by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev.

FruitNews article (Russian):

The ban restricting Turkish agricultural products from entering the Russian market is opening up new opportunities for Egyptian exporters looking to boost shipments to this eastern trade partner, said Saad Moussa, head of the Central Administration of Plant Quarantine under the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration of Egypt and of phytosanitary safety assurance for exported plant products, during a video conference with Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (Rosselkhoznadzor).

According to specialists at Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) and the agency's Deputy Minister Victor Evtukhov, answering questions about the possibility of a shortage of food products and decrease in the quality of produce, there will not be a shortage of traditional seasonal imports ahead of the holiday season. 

On December 5 a 800 tonne shipment of lemons and oranges left the port of Latakia, Syria, headed for the Russian market, as confirmed by Syrian businessman Amjad Duba. 

The President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba said that talks are ongoing, not only about increasing citrus exports to the Russian mark, but also other types of fruit, nuts and vegetables.

Lemons were not one of the items included under Russia's list of prohibited Turkish imports because finding replacement suppliers would not have been possible in the short term, according to Russian officials.

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.

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