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Turkish fruits, vegetables prices fell 30% in 3 days after Russian embargo

Staff writer |
A Russian embargo on Turkish fruits and vegetables has forced farmers to cut prices on the domestic market, resulting in the steep price decreases for a large number of agricultural products.

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“This season was great for fruits and vegetables, and then this crisis struck,” Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Brokers and Salesmen (TÜMESKOM) President Burhan Er said, speaking to the Dogan news agency (DHA).

Russia has imposed a variety of sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for the shooting down of a Russian jet that reportedly ventured into Turkey's airspace near the Syrian border.

“If products that cannot be exported go to the domestic market, the price automatically falls. In just two to three days, we are seeing prices drop by 20-30 percent. For example, a TL 3 mandarin now sells for TL 2. Tomato prices compared to three or four days ago have dropped by 30 percent.

“If this crisis continues, we are expecting price drops of as much as 50 percent. We sell tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, tangerines, oranges, grapefruit and lemons predominantly to Russia. We are trying not to be pessimistic,” Er said. Turkey's main export partner for food products is Russia.

Though the embargo on fruits and vegetables does not officially take effect until January 1, 2016, Turkish truckers have complained that Russian customs officials are stopping them at the border.

“We are exporting a major portion of our fruits and vegetables to Russia. With the recent decision that Russia has made, they are not allowing our products to go through and are stopping them. The problem does not look like it will end soon and these losses will have to be compensated for,” said Mugla Industry and Trade Chamber (MUTSO) President Bülent Karakuş, speaking to DHA.

Regional industries are losing as much as TL 1 million per day, said Fethiye Fruit and Vegetable Brokers Association President Atabey Akgün. Prior to the crisis, 30 trucks were departing from Fethiye every day for Russia, but the halting of trucks at the boarder has resulted in great losses.

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