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Israeli pepper growers under pressure from Russian crisis

Israeli pepper growers under pressure from Russian crisis

The quick devaluation of the Russian currency is taking a big toll on exporters and will put huge pressure on many of them. Mr Avi Kadan, of the Israeli company Adafresh, states that “the big question is who will survive and who will not, depending on how much the Rouble will fall.”

This situation has coincided with yet another bad start for Israel’s pepper campaign. “The problem is that I don’t see alternative crops in the Arava Valley, but luckily, it’s only the start of the season; we have another four months to go, and if pepper prices are still reasonable with the new Rouble rates, we will be ok,” affirms Avi.

The key aspect to take into account is that Russia is a very important market for Israeli pepper growers, and Avi assures that Government funds may be needed to help palliate their debts. “The situation for exporters will depend on the percentage that the Russian market represented for them and who their clients were. Those trading with supermarkets in U.S. dollars, for example, will be in a good position.”

For Adafresh, the impact of the Russian crisis will not be as bad, as overall, Russia only accounts for 5% of the company’s business. “We have a strong partner with us and are Europe-oriented, but for sure, other companies lacking marketing channels may suffer.”

Meanwhile, in Europe, the situation is similar, and even a little better than last year. However, “a lot of peppers that were intended for Russia will now end up in Europe, so there is a risk the market may collapse,” states Avi.

This naturally has led Adafresh to look for opportunities in alternative markets, namely in America. “We used to be very strong there, until the air freight price became too expensive for us, but with the current oil price sea freight is an option and the U.S. is certainly becoming again a good option for November December, with the advantage that we won’t need to develop it from scratch,” concludes Avi Kadan.

For more information:
Avi Kadan
Adafresh
Email: [email protected]
www.adafresh.co.il

Publication date: 12/24/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

“Russian importers are currently under great pressure”

Gabriel Berard, Bretonskiy Koupets:
“Russian importers are currently under great pressure”

Gabriel Berard is a specialised intermediary between producers or traders and Russian companies. With the firm Bretonskiy Koupets, he acts as A local helpdesk for exporters to Russia. He is currently going through a difficult time because all fruit and vegetable exports from the EU have stopped. “Luckily, I am a very flexible agent and have few costs. Now that EU exports have stopped I focus on overseas suppliers shipping to Russia. I invite these exporters to connect on my platform and I offer also new services, such as market monitoring for traders. Currently, I already offer a weekly market report on tomatoes and citrus and I hope to find more customers for this service to expand in the future.”


The Russian apple-corner in Auchan hypermarket in Moscow last Sunday. (1 Euro = 58 rub)

Less work for importers
According to Gabriel, the situation for Russian fruit and vegetable traders is very hard. “Russian importers are tense because the volumes and margins are under great pressure. The import ban is just one of the many factors that make the situation difficult; there is also a drop in the value of the Rouble, the cancellation of credit lines, the decline in consumer spending and the development of direct imports by discounters. For example, the Russian discounters ‘Dixy’ and ‘Tander’ make a lot of imports themselves. The Russian import of fruits and vegetables in September 2014 dropped by 10% in volume compared to September 2013. During the same period, the volumes of fruit and vegetables imported directly by retailers has increased by 7%. This has resulted in traders having a lot less work.”

Self-sufficiency
Russia is not yet self-sufficient, but there is now a stronger focus on local production. Investments are made in Russian orchards and greenhouses and the boycott works as an additional incentive. “The demand for quality local produce is high; in September, Russian imports of tomatoes and apples dropped by 44% and 41% respectively compared to September last year. Russian growers are doing very well. To capitalise on this trend, Bretonskiy Koupets invited the owner of a modern Russian orchard to use my platform.” (see picture below)


Alma Fruits, a modern Russian Orchard

“Everyone notices a paradigm shift in the Russian market. Import margins are smaller and it is very difficult for traditional importers to stay afloat. For Russian traders, the most important long-term effects of this growth are: large-scale changes in integrated logistics, the modernisation of trade, expansion in the region and localisation of supplies. European traders in the future will also have the opportunity to play a role in Russia’s consolidation through modern, high-capacity traders.”

He strongly believes that Russia and Europe will work together again in the future. “When this crisis is over, I hope that European products will find their way back to the shopping basket of Russian consumers.” The ban is supposed to last for one year, but that’s not certain. “The ban on EU products was imposed by the Russian Government on 7 August in response to economic sanctions against Russia that were taken by the EU on 31 July. We can reasonably expect that the Russian boycott will be lifted if Europe also puts and end to its own sanctions.”

For more information:
Gabriel Berard
SAS Bretonskiy Koupets
Parc d’Innovation Bretagne Sud
Place Albert Einstein – CP 125
56038 Vannes – Frankrijk
Skype ID: gabrielberard
[email protected]

Publication date: 11/21/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Hefty decrease Russian import

Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina also suspected of illegal export
Hefty decrease Russian import

Several European countries that fall outside the boycott, are facing possible sanctions. Russia suspects these countries of illegal export of European produce, and has requested clarification regarding increased export volumes. On the other hand, Russia is willing to negotiate with Moldova on lifting the sanctions. In that case, the country does have to guarantee that no illegal export will occur. South American countries still see potential in trade with Russia, and Lebanon also looked into the export requirements.

In Russian media, prime minister Medvedev said that it’s possible for the sanctions to be extended. The sanctions were announced for a year, but the prime minister pointed out this doesn’t mean that trade can get started again in August 2015. The prime minister also admitted that not all products could be replaced.

At the European side, the consequences are also felt in sectors that don’t come directly under the boycott. Because of price decreases in agricultural products, growers are postponing investments, which is felt by the machine builders. When it comes to logistics, the consequences are also noticeable. Cooling trucks that used to go to Russia with fresh produce, are now used with other products. Consequence: lower prices for transports to Russia.

Russian import halved
Statistics for October show that the vegetable import amounted to 62.7 million dollars. In September, 33.8 million dollars’ worth was imported. In October 2013, the import value amounted to 126.9 million dollars. That was 64.2 million more than this year. Nut and fruit import also went down from 437 million dollars in 2013 to 345 million dollars in October this year. Figures show how hard it is to replace the import. According to several specialists, other countries with large volumes, like China and Turkey, are not able to replace the lost import. That’s also reflected in prices. Studies show that prices went up by 30-40%, and 75% of Russians say they have seen prices go up.


Incidentally, supermarkets indicate that they succeed in replacing the import. Domestic cultivation, Turkey and Azerbaijan are named as new suppliers. For a supermarket chain such as X5, the boycott meant that 25% of horticultural products had to be replaced. For certain products, like iceberg lettuce and leek, it’s more difficult to find new suppliers.


Boycott opportunity for Poland
Prices for the Polish Idared have reached a low point. The apples yield between 7-11 cents per kilo, the past five years the price hasn’t been so low. The variety was particularly popular in Russia. According to WAPA estimates, the Idared volume in Poland will amount to 750,000 tonnes, 7% more than a year before. According to experts, however, the boycott also offers opportunities for the sector. They point out that with earlier sanctions, the sector was also able to switch fast, and that the boycott gives the opportunity of entering new markets and investing more in existing relations.


Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina called to task
The Russian phytosanitary service suspects Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina of illegal export of European produce. Macedonia was asked for clarification regarding the export. The country has to prove that no European products were exported illegally. Bosnia-Herzegovina had already been asked for clarification regarding the significantly increased export. Montenegro and Albania were also asked for clarification. These countries are facing possible sanctions if the Russians cannot be convinced that the export is legal.


Sanctions Moldova possibly lifted
While a number of countries are facing possible sanctions, the Russian inspection announced its willingness to negotiate with Moldova on lifting the sanctions. The sanctions were imposed after Moldova signed a free trade agreement with the EU. A condition for lifting the sanctions is that the country needs to take measures to prevent illegal export.


Peru biggest exporter South America
The Peruvian Association of Agricultural Producers said that the South American country leads the continent in terms of fruit and vegetable export to Russia. The boycott helps Peru increase its export by 10 million dollars a year. Between January and June of this year, export already went up by 16%. Reports say the total export value this year will amount to 80 million dollars. The products mainly go to the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.


Ecuador still sees a lot of growth opportunities
The Ecuadorian ambassador in Russia says that the country utilizes 20% of the trade potential between the countries. The country has a direct sea route across the Atlantic Ocean to Russia, a journey of 21 days. According to the ambassador, trade amounts to 1.5 million dollars this year, 15% more than in 2013.


Kyrgyzstan exports more apples
According to the latest statistics, export from Kyrgyzstan to Russia increased over the past eight months. For apples, the export increased to a value of 85 million dollars. The volume amounted to 15,000 tonnes. 63 tonnes of potatoes and onions were also reported to be exported, that is 13% more than a year before.


Kaliningrad going to grow blueberries
The Kaliningrad region is investing in blueberry cultivation. The first harvest will have to go to market early next year. The newly established company cultivates the berries on an acreage of 3.3 hectares. According to the initiator of the project, only Argentinian and Chilean blueberries are available. How much the blueberries would cost wasn’t announced, but in neighbouring Belarus, a kilo of blueberries yields between 11 and 12 dollars per kilo. Birds do pose a threat for the cultivation, and a solution is being looked for.


Lebanon invests in export
The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon published a report with the standards to which products have to comply to be eligible for export to Russia. In the report, subjects like hygiene requirements, inspection of products, packaging and the status of importers can be found. According to the organization, Russia is an attractive market for Lebanese exporters. Lebanon hopes to profit from the import stop from Western countries.


Ukrainian cucumbers very expensive
The cucumber price keeps going up. Within a week, cucumbers yield 70-80% more, and the price is 1.68-1.86 dollars per kilo. That’s 50% more than in the same period a year before. Prices and fluctuations vary a bit from one wholesale market to another, but in general cucumbers got a lot more expensive. Prices are at the highest level in the past ten years. Because the Ukrainian season is drawing to a close and import is lagging behind due to the unstable foreign exchange market, prices went up.

Publication date: 11/20/2014
Author: Rudolf Mulderij
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Hefty decrease Russian import

Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina also suspected of illegal export
Hefty decrease Russian import

Several European countries that fall outside the boycott, are facing possible sanctions. Russia suspects these countries of illegal export of European produce, and has requested clarification regarding increased export volumes. On the other hand, Russia is willing to negotiate with Moldova on lifting the sanctions. In that case, the country does have to guarantee that no illegal export will occur. South American countries still see potential in trade with Russia, and Lebanon also looked into the export requirements.

In Russian media, prime minister Medvedev said that it’s possible for the sanctions to be extended. The sanctions were announced for a year, but the prime minister pointed out this doesn’t mean that trade can get started again in August 2015. The prime minister also admitted that not all products could be replaced.

At the European side, the consequences are also felt in sectors that don’t come directly under the boycott. Because of price decreases in agricultural products, growers are postponing investments, which is felt by the machine builders. When it comes to logistics, the consequences are also noticeable. Cooling trucks that used to go to Russia with fresh produce, are now used with other products. Consequence: lower prices for transports to Russia.

Russian import halved
Statistics for October show that the vegetable import amounted to 62.7 million dollars. In September, 33.8 million dollars’ worth was imported. In October 2013, the import value amounted to 126.9 million dollars. That was 64.2 million more than this year. Nut and fruit import also went down from 437 million dollars in 2013 to 345 million dollars in October this year. Figures show how hard it is to replace the import. According to several specialists, other countries with large volumes, like China and Turkey, are not able to replace the lost import. That’s also reflected in prices. Studies show that prices went up by 30-40%, and 75% of Russians say they have seen prices go up.


Incidentally, supermarkets indicate that they succeed in replacing the import. Domestic cultivation, Turkey and Azerbaijan are named as new suppliers. For a supermarket chain such as X5, the boycott meant that 25% of horticultural products had to be replaced. For certain products, like iceberg lettuce and leek, it’s more difficult to find new suppliers.


Boycott opportunity for Poland
Prices for the Polish Idared have reached a low point. The apples yield between 7-11 cents per kilo, the past five years the price hasn’t been so low. The variety was particularly popular in Russia. According to WAPA estimates, the Idared volume in Poland will amount to 750,000 tonnes, 7% more than a year before. According to experts, however, the boycott also offers opportunities for the sector. They point out that with earlier sanctions, the sector was also able to switch fast, and that the boycott gives the opportunity of entering new markets and investing more in existing relations.


Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina called to task
The Russian phytosanitary service suspects Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina of illegal export of European produce. Macedonia was asked for clarification regarding the export. The country has to prove that no European products were exported illegally. Bosnia-Herzegovina had already been asked for clarification regarding the significantly increased export. Montenegro and Albania were also asked for clarification. These countries are facing possible sanctions if the Russians cannot be convinced that the export is legal.


Sanctions Moldova possibly lifted
While a number of countries are facing possible sanctions, the Russian inspection announced its willingness to negotiate with Moldova on lifting the sanctions. The sanctions were imposed after Moldova signed a free trade agreement with the EU. A condition for lifting the sanctions is that the country needs to take measures to prevent illegal export.


Peru biggest exporter South America
The Peruvian Association of Agricultural Producers said that the South American country leads the continent in terms of fruit and vegetable export to Russia. The boycott helps Peru increase its export by 10 million dollars a year. Between January and June of this year, export already went up by 16%. Reports say the total export value this year will amount to 80 million dollars. The products mainly go to the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.


Ecuador still sees a lot of growth opportunities
The Ecuadorian ambassador in Russia says that the country utilizes 20% of the trade potential between the countries. The country has a direct sea route across the Atlantic Ocean to Russia, a journey of 21 days. According to the ambassador, trade amounts to 1.5 million dollars this year, 15% more than in 2013.


Kyrgyzstan exports more apples
According to the latest statistics, export from Kyrgyzstan to Russia increased over the past eight months. For apples, the export increased to a value of 85 million dollars. The volume amounted to 15,000 tonnes. 63 tonnes of potatoes and onions were also reported to be exported, that is 13% more than a year before.


Kaliningrad going to grow blueberries
The Kaliningrad region is investing in blueberry cultivation. The first harvest will have to go to market early next year. The newly established company cultivates the berries on an acreage of 3.3 hectares. According to the initiator of the project, only Argentinian and Chilean blueberries are available. How much the blueberries would cost wasn’t announced, but in neighbouring Belarus, a kilo of blueberries yields between 11 and 12 dollars per kilo. Birds do pose a threat for the cultivation, and a solution is being looked for.


Lebanon invests in export
The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon published a report with the standards to which products have to comply to be eligible for export to Russia. In the report, subjects like hygiene requirements, inspection of products, packaging and the status of importers can be found. According to the organization, Russia is an attractive market for Lebanese exporters. Lebanon hopes to profit from the import stop from Western countries.


Ukrainian cucumbers very expensive
The cucumber price keeps going up. Within a week, cucumbers yield 70-80% more, and the price is 1.68-1.86 dollars per kilo. That’s 50% more than in the same period a year before. Prices and fluctuations vary a bit from one wholesale market to another, but in general cucumbers got a lot more expensive. Prices are at the highest level in the past ten years. Because the Ukrainian season is drawing to a close and import is lagging behind due to the unstable foreign exchange market, prices went up.

Publication date: 11/20/2014
Author: Rudolf Mulderij
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Aftermath of Russian boycott bound to result in interesting pepper season

Aftermath of Russian boycott bound to result in interesting pepper season

Arava Export Growers is having a good pomegranate season; fruit which is very dependent on good weather. A good campaign is also expected for avocados and peppers, as the weather has been optimal. “This week we’ll begin exporting capsicum; that will be 1 week earlier than last year,” said Malou Even.

Regarding the situation with Russia, Malou says, “Arava wants to continue working as it is used to, shipping half to Russia and the other half to Europe. Ultimately, I want to continue delivering produce to the clients with as much normality as possible.”

She also states that, “It might be possible, due to extreme price differences between Europe and Russia that we’ll have to ship more volumes in either direction in order to secure the best prices possible for the growers.”  Another issue is the rouble’s devaluation, which involves an additional risk. “I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but we’ll just strive to deliver to the markets, as we have always done. If drastic changes take place, we will simply have to adapt.  Additionally, we also have programmes that need to be adhered to.”

When it comes to citrus fruits, Israel currently faces competition mainly from Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. “Normally, a lot of citrus is imported by Russia, and that benefits these countries, because they can produce cheaper and of course Turkey is geographically closer. They are also making great progress regarding cultivation.”

For peppers, Arava competes mainly with Spain, as well as Morocco to a lesser extent. “I have heard that the Dutch season will finish earlier, and we’ll also come in a little earlier, so that will be nice” states Malou.

Everything will depend on the market situation. “I’m really anxiously waiting to see how the season will start; it will most probably be quite an interesting season with all the developments following the Russian boycott.”

For more information:
Malou Even
V.P. Business Development & Global Sales
Arava Export Growers Ltd.
Tel : +972-3-972-8-104
[email protected]
www.arv.co.il

Publication date: 11/7/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Aftermath of Russian boycott bound to result in interesting pepper season

Aftermath of Russian boycott bound to result in interesting pepper season

Arava Export Growers is having a good pomegranate season; fruit which is very dependent on good weather. A good campaign is also expected for avocados and peppers, as the weather has been optimal. “This week we’ll begin exporting capsicum; that will be 1 week earlier than last year,” said Malou Even.

Regarding the situation with Russia, Malou says, “Arava wants to continue working as it is used to, shipping half to Russia and the other half to Europe. Ultimately, I want to continue delivering produce to the clients with as much normality as possible.”

She also states that, “It might be possible, due to extreme price differences between Europe and Russia that we’ll have to ship more volumes in either direction in order to secure the best prices possible for the growers.”  Another issue is the rouble’s devaluation, which involves an additional risk. “I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but we’ll just strive to deliver to the markets, as we have always done. If drastic changes take place, we will simply have to adapt.  Additionally, we also have programmes that need to be adhered to.”

When it comes to citrus fruits, Israel currently faces competition mainly from Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. “Normally, a lot of citrus is imported by Russia, and that benefits these countries, because they can produce cheaper and of course Turkey is geographically closer. They are also making great progress regarding cultivation.”

For peppers, Arava competes mainly with Spain, as well as Morocco to a lesser extent. “I have heard that the Dutch season will finish earlier, and we’ll also come in a little earlier, so that will be nice” states Malou.

Everything will depend on the market situation. “I’m really anxiously waiting to see how the season will start; it will most probably be quite an interesting season with all the developments following the Russian boycott.”

For more information:
Malou Even
V.P. Business Development & Global Sales
Arava Export Growers Ltd.
Tel : +972-3-972-8-104
[email protected]
www.arv.co.il

Publication date: 11/7/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Russian market is vital for the Moroccan easy peelers

Russian market is vital for the Moroccan easy peelers

2013-14 was a disastrous season for Moroccan exporters of clementine. “Results barely covered the costs of the packing and shipping. It did not cover the costs of production. Many growers are in danger,” explained Fatiha Charrat, Sales & Marketing Director at Delassus.

Because of this the Moroccan government decided to protect and regulate the export to the vital market of Russia. Russia absorbs more than 60% of the Moroccan clementine dedicated to export. During the last 10 years, excluding 2013-14, Morocco shipped 120 000 tons on average per year to St Petersburg. This amount was increased by 52% during 2013-14. In addition, the export started too early which meant fruits not correctly matured were shipped. Therefore, the market was flooded with clementines from beginning of October till the end of January. This rise was unexpected by the major importers and the market did not react positively.

Therefore, the Moroccan-Russian General affairs Council, Maroc citrus organisation,  EACCE (Establishment of Control and Coordination of Exportation) as well as the association of Citrus Exporters have had multiple meetings since last July with the aim of finding better solutions for both sides: Protect Moroccan growers and exporters and Protect Russian importers.

The solutions which all parties find wise are:
-    Regulate the export weekly so the volume shipped will be in relation with the market capacity
-    Organise the transport smoothly. There will be a departure every day calling at St Petersburg, while last season only one day of departure per week was possible. This way, fruits will be sent little by little with fresh guaranty instead of shipping in one shot.
-    EACCE will manage the quality control previous to shipping. Only fruits corresponding to the category 1 as per the international specification will receive the authorization of export.
-    EACCE will control the regulation of quantity according to market situation

“The Green Morocco Plan aims from now on to focus on the marketing side of our business,” explains Ms Charrat. “The previous aim was to increase citrus production to 2.9 million tons by 2018. Today the aim is to boost the export. Of course Russia is the number 1 citrus client taking 60%. North America is important too especially in the first period (Oct and Nov) taking 15%. EU represents some 20%. Other markets are worthy of note like UAE and Arabia Saudi and Asia in general.”

Exports will start in week 43.

For more information:
Fatiha CHARRAT
Delassus
Tel: +212 665 18 68 68
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/21/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Good prospects for Jingold kiwis despite Russian ban

Italy: Good prospects for Jingold kiwis despite Russian ban

“It is still unknown how the Russian ban will affect the kiwi season. We believe the direct effects will be rather limited, as Russia is not one of our main markets, but we will have to deal with the increased competition from other producer countries like for example Greece. This is why we will work to strengthen the brand and guarantee constant high quality to our clients,” refer the managers of the KiwiGold consortium, owner of the Jingold brand.


The Jingold kiwi campaign will start in the next few days. The suitable moment to harvest is established by the technical managers of the Consortium and it coincides with the moment when the kiwis reach the perfect organoleptic qualities.


“Volumes are similar to last year – many new orchards are now starting to produce but, at the same time, production has dropped in other areas in Southern Italy due to the mild temperatures of last winter.”


The quantities of green Hayward kiwis should increase considerably. “We will select high-quality green kiwis to complete our range together with golden kiwis.”


The main destination market is the European one, where the produce is distributed by groups like Edeka, Corte Ingles, Coop and Tesco. The Asian market is the one growing the most. 

“In Far East countries like China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, Jingold is a recognised brand by both operators and consumers as we have been on the market for a few years.”


“The season is looking good – there is a lot of interest from our usual clients and prospects are good.”


Contacts:
Jingold spa
Piazzale Caduti del Lavoro, 200
47522 Cesena (FC)
Tel.: (+39) 0547 317476
Fax: (+39) 0547 417514
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.jingold.it

Publication date: 10/13/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Fruit and vegetables at Russian retail after embargo

Photo Report on Russian retail
Fruit and vegetables at Russian retail after embargo

Seven weeks have passed since the imposition of Russian retaliatory sanctions on US, EU, Norway, Canada and Australia. Seven weeks Russia has been living under the conditions of embargo on import of fruit, vegetables and food from the above-mentioned countries.

The changes in the range of products, importers, prices and availability are illustrated below.

Central stores of four leading in Russia retail networks have been investigated. They are Karavan (Penza local retail chain), Dva Gusya (chain of Penza Commercial Alliance), Perekrestok (Russian Federal Retail chain) and SPAR (Dutch retail chain); all located in the city of Penza.  

KARAVAN (Penza Local Retail Chain)
Range-wise, in the stores of this chain the embargo has come unnoticed for the customers. There is hardly any fruit or vegetable that the locals would not be able to find in the stores. Even, the cauliflower that has been recently considered extinct, is available at a reasonable price (1.3 EUR/kg), production of Russia.

However, there are still plenty of fruit and vegetables imported from the European Union: grapes from the Netherlands, apples from France and Germany, nectarines from Spain

Nevertheless, many products have been substituted by imported from other countries. However, some of new fruit and vegetables do not look very attractive, e.g. the kiwi from Iran, or pears from Argentina. 

DVA GUSYA (Penza Commercial Alliance)
This supermarket presents a wide range of local domestic products that are cheaper than imported ones, usually in high demand and of better taste. However, are subject to season.

Due to different suppliers, the prices of imported products differ a lot from the previous shop, where Iranian kiwifruit and lemons cost 1.6 Euro/kg and 2.3 Euro/kg respectively. Here the imported from Turkey nice-looking kiwis cost 4.6 Euro/kg and slightly bigger lemons – 3.9 Euro/kg.

PEREKRESTOK (Russian Federal Retail Chain)
In Perekrestok the difference in the range of products is obvious. The first thing that catches the eye is the variety of exotic fruit and vegetables: from Chilean pineapples to Chinese pomelo.

Alongside with carefully and beautifully organized domestic production (which is not produced in Penza, but in other regions of Russia).

Moreover, some forbidden goods are quite easy to find in this supermarket, e.g. the Italian olives at 7.5 Euro/kg and 6.3 Euro/kg, depending on the colour.

SPAR (Dutch Retail Chain)
In SPAR the contrast of prices is quite high. One could hardly find any fresh production from embargoed countries. The majority imported from Europe fruit and vegetables are substituted by supplies from Serbia, Morocco, Turkey, Uzbekistan.

Red stamps on the price tags inform the customers of the price reduction that can be spotted on a significant number of goods. For example, the sultana grapes from Turkey now cost 1.1 Euro/kg, which saves you 0.2 Euro. 

The difference in price and measure units is well-demonstrated below in the example with garlic. Three bulbs of Chinese garlic cost 0.37 Euro, whereas a kilo of Russian garlic costs 1.8 Euro. 

Note: 1 Russian Ruble = 0.02 EURO
 

Publication date: 9/29/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rung product on Russian market

Demand for Argentinean soft fruit
Rung product on Russian market

Argentina sees a lot of opportunities for exporting soft fruit to Russia. The country sees interest from Russian traders increase. On the Russian market, lemon prices go up to unprecedented levels. Partly because the season in Argentina and South Africa is drawing to a close, and the volumes there were disappointing, prices are 300% higher than last year. And the greatest challenge for Russia in becoming self-sufficient, is gathering enough know-how and organizing good management. In Europe, consumption is back to old levels, the effect of initiatives to buy local produce has worn off. And in the Netherlands, products are reportedly being rung for export to Russia.

Where the world seems mostly concerned about Russian involvement in Ukraine, Russia’s power base is expanding farther eastwards. With political and financial means, Russia is embracing Kyrgyzstan. Partly because of Russian influence, the American military base in the country was shut down, and by relieving large sums of national debt, ties with Russia are getting closer. Russian oil companies are also investing large sums of money in the country, and Russia is helping Kyrgyzstan in order to be able to join the Eurasian Union faster.

Dutch produce in Russia as well
Dutch produce in a blank box, label them with a different country of origin, and the products can be shipped to Russia. Illegal, but it does occur. After reports about Poland and the Czech Republic looking to enter the Russian market through Belarus and Kazakhstan, now there are also reports of Dutch products being rung. During the EHEC crisis, products were also being rung. The insights gained by inspectors during that time, are now being used to track down illegal export.

Lemons 300% more expensive
With the lemon season in Argentina and South Africa drawing to a close, prices on the Russian market are vastly increasing. Compared to last year, prices are three times higher. The lower volumes in these countries are partially responsible for the price increases. Prices are between 130-165 roubles (3.23-4.10 dollars) per kilo. The situation will probably change toward the end of the month, when Turkey enters the market. Turkey is the largest exporter to Russia, with a market share of 62% last year. South Africa and Argentina represent 12% and 8% of the market respectively.

Argentinian soft fruit in high demand in Russia
Russian traders have shown interest in Argentinian soft fruit. Among others, Holding First Fruits, the largest importer in Moscow, has reportedly shown interest. The company trades for 150 million dollars annually. The Argentinian minister is enthusiastic, and sees opportunities to ship berries from the south, and strawberries from the north to Russia. The minister stresses the successful trade relations between the countries. Of the Argentinian mandarin export, 45% goes to Russia.

European consumption saw small increase
After the boycott, various countries drew attention to local growers. In Poland, an ‘Eat apples to annoy Putin’ promotion was started, but six weeks after the promotion, despite a brief revival, consumption is back to old levels. Prices for Polish apples have gone down to around 22 cents, hardly enough to cover production costs. Although in theory, European growers could move to new markets to fill the gaps there, a lot of time is needed to gain entry to new markets. Time that isn’t there for products that are currently being harvested. Millions of kilos of Greek peaches and strawberries were left to rot after shipments were held at the Russian border. In the Netherlands, 900 hectares are expected not to be harvested. Other markets are mainly seeing indirect consequences. The British market is getting through the sanctions relatively unscathed, but if the market is flooded with Dutch apples and pears, for instance, that will have consequences for the British.

Re-export to Russia allowed
There’s still quite a bit of confusion on the boycott, and the details of the ban. For export, the origin of the product is binding, rather than the route travelled by the products. That gives opportunities, because Russia still depends on import. The Russian aim of becoming self-sufficient isn’t within reach for the time being.
Although Russia is working hard to become more self-sufficient, that’s not possible for all foods. Earlier this month, Pierre Bernstein of ABN Amro travelled to Russia. He found that trade in Russia is mainly based on personal relations, which are now being upset by the boycott. By the way, many trades do support choosing for own production. For fruit and vegetable cultivation, that will be quite difficult. Know-how, capital and proper management is needed to be able to produce efficiently, and that’s just what’s often lacking at the moment. When it comes to cooling, storing and logistics, big steps also have to be taken yet. Alignment between the industry and the supermarket is often not good either.

Russia eliminates import tariff Iran
Earlier, Russia and Iran already announced their willingness to improve trade relations. Now Russia has eliminated the tariff on import of Iranian fruit and vegetables. Because of this, Iranian exporters can sell their produce in Russia more easily. Turkish traders responded stoically, they think Russia will look away from Turkey, switching to Iran as its main supplier. Iran is able to supply watermelons, kiwis, pomegranates, apples and pears, among others, to the Russian market. Russia is hoping this will ease the domestic consequences of the boycott.

Publication date: 9/19/2014
Author: Rudolf Mulderij
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Rung product on Russian market

Demand for Argentinean soft fruit
Rung product on Russian market

Argentina sees a lot of opportunities for exporting soft fruit to Russia. The country sees interest from Russian traders increase. On the Russian market, lemon prices go up to unprecedented levels. Partly because the season in Argentina and South Africa is drawing to a close, and the volumes there were disappointing, prices are 300% higher than last year. And the greatest challenge for Russia in becoming self-sufficient, is gathering enough know-how and organizing good management. In Europe, consumption is back to old levels, the effect of initiatives to buy local produce has worn off. And in the Netherlands, products are reportedly being rung for export to Russia.

Where the world seems mostly concerned about Russian involvement in Ukraine, Russia’s power base is expanding farther eastwards. With political and financial means, Russia is embracing Kyrgyzstan. Partly because of Russian influence, the American military base in the country was shut down, and by relieving large sums of national debt, ties with Russia are getting closer. Russian oil companies are also investing large sums of money in the country, and Russia is helping Kyrgyzstan in order to be able to join the Eurasian Union faster.

Dutch produce in Russia as well
Dutch produce in a blank box, label them with a different country of origin, and the products can be shipped to Russia. Illegal, but it does occur. After reports about Poland and the Czech Republic looking to enter the Russian market through Belarus and Kazakhstan, now there are also reports of Dutch products being rung. During the EHEC crisis, products were also being rung. The insights gained by inspectors during that time, are now being used to track down illegal export.

Lemons 300% more expensive
With the lemon season in Argentina and South Africa drawing to a close, prices on the Russian market are vastly increasing. Compared to last year, prices are three times higher. The lower volumes in these countries are partially responsible for the price increases. Prices are between 130-165 roubles (3.23-4.10 dollars) per kilo. The situation will probably change toward the end of the month, when Turkey enters the market. Turkey is the largest exporter to Russia, with a market share of 62% last year. South Africa and Argentina represent 12% and 8% of the market respectively.

Argentinian soft fruit in high demand in Russia
Russian traders have shown interest in Argentinian soft fruit. Among others, Holding First Fruits, the largest importer in Moscow, has reportedly shown interest. The company trades for 150 million dollars annually. The Argentinian minister is enthusiastic, and sees opportunities to ship berries from the south, and strawberries from the north to Russia. The minister stresses the successful trade relations between the countries. Of the Argentinian mandarin export, 45% goes to Russia.

European consumption saw small increase
After the boycott, various countries drew attention to local growers. In Poland, an ‘Eat apples to annoy Putin’ promotion was started, but six weeks after the promotion, despite a brief revival, consumption is back to old levels. Prices for Polish apples have gone down to around 22 cents, hardly enough to cover production costs. Although in theory, European growers could move to new markets to fill the gaps there, a lot of time is needed to gain entry to new markets. Time that isn’t there for products that are currently being harvested. Millions of kilos of Greek peaches and strawberries were left to rot after shipments were held at the Russian border. In the Netherlands, 900 hectares are expected not to be harvested. Other markets are mainly seeing indirect consequences. The British market is getting through the sanctions relatively unscathed, but if the market is flooded with Dutch apples and pears, for instance, that will have consequences for the British.

Re-export to Russia allowed
There’s still quite a bit of confusion on the boycott, and the details of the ban. For export, the origin of the product is binding, rather than the route travelled by the products. That gives opportunities, because Russia still depends on import. The Russian aim of becoming self-sufficient isn’t within reach for the time being.
Although Russia is working hard to become more self-sufficient, that’s not possible for all foods. Earlier this month, Pierre Bernstein of ABN Amro travelled to Russia. He found that trade in Russia is mainly based on personal relations, which are now being upset by the boycott. By the way, many trades do support choosing for own production. For fruit and vegetable cultivation, that will be quite difficult. Know-how, capital and proper management is needed to be able to produce efficiently, and that’s just what’s often lacking at the moment. When it comes to cooling, storing and logistics, big steps also have to be taken yet. Alignment between the industry and the supermarket is often not good either.

Russia eliminates import tariff Iran
Earlier, Russia and Iran already announced their willingness to improve trade relations. Now Russia has eliminated the tariff on import of Iranian fruit and vegetables. Because of this, Iranian exporters can sell their produce in Russia more easily. Turkish traders responded stoically, they think Russia will look away from Turkey, switching to Iran as its main supplier. Iran is able to supply watermelons, kiwis, pomegranates, apples and pears, among others, to the Russian market. Russia is hoping this will ease the domestic consequences of the boycott.

Publication date: 9/19/2014
Author: Rudolf Mulderij
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

McDonald’s removes salads from Russian menu

Bananas from Crimea in Moscow
McDonald’s removes salads from Russian menu

Bulgaria desires a higher compensation from the EU for growers. Despite the country’s small stake in the agricultural market, Bulgarians do expect to suffer significant losses. Greek growers expect problems to be the biggest later this month, or in October. Hopes are pinned on the Turkish market, where the increased export to Russia could cause a shortage there. Meanwhile, the Moldovan government is at its wit’s end. The country is not an EU member, but is part of the ban. To offer growers some compensation, the country is in talks with the World Bank, among others. And in Russian supermarkets, bananas, citrus and kiwifruit from Crimea are emerging.

McDonald’s Russia stops selling salad
The Russian branch of McDonald’s is removing salads from its menu. According to the fast food chain, since the boycott the quality of ingredients has worsened. Because the quality no longer meets McDonald’s standards, the salads have been taken off the menu. Previously, Russian authorities closed down several branches of the fast food chain, after bacteria was found on lettuce leaves. According to McDonald’s, the decision to scratch salads is not connected to the closed restaurants.

Greek worries for seasonal peak
Greek growers on Crete and in Preveza are worried about the consequences of the boycott. The biggest tomato growers can be found in these regions. They fear that prices will go down as other countries, for instance in the Balkans and Spain and Italy, look for new markets. The Greeks are pinning their hopes on the Turkish trade agreement with Russia. “If the Turks can’t meet Russian demand, we expect the Turks to start buying Greek tomatoes,” a Greek tomato grower says.
On Crete, the cucumber harvest is good. Many cucumbers were exported to Russia directly, or through Poland. October will see the peak of the tomato, cucumber, bell pepper and eggplant harvest. The growers are expecting problems finding new markets. In addition, there’s competition from Spanish and Italian producers who export their produce to Greece. Losses of 60 million Euro are expected on a total revenue of 200 million Euro.

In Preveza, cucumber prices are between 13 and 15 cents, which isn’t bad. For other producers, prices are also still at a normal level. Problems are expected to start on September 25. The peak of the tomato season is around this date, a large part of which was exported to Russia via Bulgaria. These growers are hoping for a shortage in Turkey.

In Imathia, the season started off well, but price started going down around August 15. The impact of the ban is limited because the region doesn’t export to Russia. In Filiatra, the consequences are also limited. Decreasing prices are expected, however.

Bananas from Crimea?
In Russian supermarkets, after Belarusian pineapples, bananas from Crimea are now turning up. The ‘local’ bananas are cheaper than the imported bananas being stocked before; 1005 roubles (20 Euro) per kilo for imported bananas, against 56 roubles (1.1 Euro) per kilo for bananas from Crimea. Apart from Crimean bananas, citrus and kiwifruit is also on offer under the label ‘Made in Crimea’.

Vietnam signs trade agreement
According to the Russian press agency, Russia and Vietnam have signed a trade agreement. The Asian country will supply Russia with agricultural produce, including fruit and vegetables. Agreements have been reached on cooperation between customs authorities.

Moldova at wit’s end
The Moldovan government is at its wit’s end. The country is not an EU member, which means it can’t make use of the EU compensation. The government is now negotiating with various parties, to raise an amount of 146 million lei (33 million Euro) in order to compensate apple and plum growers. To be able to offer the growers compensation, the country is turning to the World Bank, among others, for a financial boost of 10 million dollars.

Bulgaria wants higher compensation
Bulgaria is requesting a higher European compensation for fruit and vegetable farmers. The Bulgarian agriculture minister, Vassil Groudev, is working on getting temporary extra European support from the European Union. The government of the Eastern European country insists on extraordinary measures to compensate growers of some fruit and vegetable varieties. Compensation for apples and pears alone is not sufficient. Bulgaria expects more compensation with the other fruit and vegetable varieties. Despite the small stake in the agricultural market, the country expects to suffer great losses due to the Russian ban of European products.

Publication date: 9/10/2014
Author: Rudolf Mulderij
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Russian importers need to look for other sources

Russian importers need to look for other sources

Today Russia announced it will ban all fruit and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway for one year. This ban is a reaction on the sanctions imposed on Russia by these countries.

Now the question is what will be the affects on all parties? Larissa Khachikyan from Russian importer Friend Fruits said they are hoping it will be only for a short time. “We now have to look for imports from South Africa, Latin America and China.” The difficulties to source for example apples out of China, is that they have different products. “We will stay in contact with our good relations in Western Europe and hope it will be solved very soon.”

Europe
According to IHS, Russia is the largest export market for fruit and vegetables from the EU, at €2billion a year. Belgium exported last year €490 million in food exports, primarily fruit, to Russia. The Netherlands export approximately €600 million a year to Russia.

United States
Russia is a big market for U.S. specialty crops. In 2013, Russia imported $ 138 million in almonds, $ 31 million in pistachios, $ 13 million in fresh apples, $ 12 million in pears and $ 2.7 million in grapes, reported the Packer. The total amount of Russian food imports are $ 1.6 billion out of the United States.

Countries that benefit
China, South Africa, Serbia, Azerbeijan, Turkey and Latin American countries have to fill the gaps in the local market in Russia. Whether consumer prices in Russia will go up is something that only time will tell, but Medvedev warned against possible attempts to use the situation to drive up prices.

Click here to read more about Russia

Publication date: 8/7/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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