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Russia exported record amount of potatoes

Staff Writer |
In 2016, Russia exported a total of 230 thousand tonnes of potatoes, reports Interfax, citing data from the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR).

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This is a record figure, and although, according to experts, it is not very impressive, exporting may become a solution to the country's overproduction problem in the future. The main consumers of Russian potatoes are currently the eastern regions of Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

The IKAR recalls that in the latest harvest season (July 2015 to June 2016), Russian potato producers achieved a record harvest. In 2015, according to official statistics, the country produced 33.6 million tonnes of potatoes, which is 16% more than the average for the past 5 years.

The relative abundance of potatoes on the Russian market has caused a significant decline in prices in the first half of 2016. In this context, the industry has reacted by reducing the acreage.

Meanwhile, the situation for the so-called Borshchov vegetables (carrots, cabbage, onions, beets) was more positive than with potatoes in the first half of 2016, as pointed out by the IKAR; therefore, many of the growers devoted to these crops decided to continue to be committed to them.

The result was a clear oversupply and record low prices.

Currently, producers are selling cabbages for prices almost 3 times lower than in December 2015; onions are 1.5 times cheaper and carrot prices are now at their lowest in 5 years for this time of the year.

Experts predict that in the first half of 2017 the situation in the vegetable market will likely be as severe as with potatoes in the spring of 2016.

According to Rosstat, in 2016 Russia produced 14.96 million tonnes of vegetables, compared to 16.25 million tonnes a year earlier.

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