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Russia becoming a major importer of fruits and vegetables

Russia is increasingly becoming an important high value fresh produce importer. The country’s  share of global fruit imports has reached almost 8 per cent in terms of value and even more in terms of volume over the last few years due to rapidly increasing consumption, thanks to a growing economy and a corresponding demand for high value
products.

The leading products are citrus fruits, apples and bananas, which together account for 55 per cent of all imports. However, while these imports remain static or are slowly increasing, imports of other fresh fruit categories are growing much more rapidly.

As a result of Russia’s ban on vegetable imports from the EU and some other foreign countries, many countries have managed to increase their
fruit and vegetable exports there,  a situation that has stayed put despite the lifting of the ban in August.

Among those who have taken advantage of the vacuum created by the exit of products  from the  EU are  Uzbekistan whose exports of exceeded the export volumes of traditional suppliers to the Russian Federation, such as Poland, China, Spain, Argentina, Morocco, South Africa and Italy.

Ukraine is also strengthening its position in the Russian fruit and vegetable market. As Fruit-Inform reports, according to customs statistics, Ukraine’s volume of vegetable exports to Russia has grown seventeen fold over the last 5 years. Ukraine has already overtaken Spain, Egypt, Belgium, France and Germany in terms of the value of its
vegetable exports to the Russian Federation. Greenhouse vegetables are Ukraine’s most important exports in this respect, particularly greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers.

Experts predict that this country will increase its fresh produce exports to Russia by at least 25 percent  in the 2010/11 season.

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