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Russia may restart imports of Turkish tomatoes in October

Staff Writer |
The Agriculture Ministry and the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight may allow imports of tomatoes to Russia by several approved Turkish companies from October, Kommersant business daily reported citing representatives of a sectorial union and a manager of a large greenhouse vegetables producer.

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At the first stage, the authorities may allow imports until April–May 2018. A source told Kommersant that there is no common ground in the Russian government regarding the terms of lifting of the ban on imports of Turkish tomatoes introduced in 2016 after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 bomber.

According to another source, retailer Magnit is discussing contracts on supplies of Turkish tomatoes, but Chairman of Magnit’s board of directors Khachatur Pombukhchyan said he is unaware of these talks.

Tomatoes from Turkey will be in high demand due to the ratio of price and quality, the business daily reported citing Vladimir Rusanov, a representative of retailer Dixy Group.

Market participants expect that Turkey will be able to import 100,000–300,000 tonnes of tomatoes to Russia until the summer of 2018. In 2016, consumption of greenhouse tomatoes in the country fell to 865,000 tonnes from 1 million tonnes in 2014, mainly due to the import ban, a source told Kommersant.

The restoration of imports will make local farmers cut prices for their products. The price cut will reduce profitability, but it will also raise demand, the source said. Materials of the national fruit and vegetables union show that Turkish tomatoes may be about 40 rubles per kilogram cheaper than domestic tomatoes.

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