Thursday, 26 November 2015

Russia to control agri-product imports from Turkey

Russian has announced they will strengthen the control of supplies of agricultural products and foodstuffs from Turkey.

Although it is not specifically stated in the announcement, the action is presumed to be in direct response to the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey earlier this week.

In a statement the Russian Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev said he has informed his government that on average, 15% of Turkish agricultural products do not comply with Russian standards.

He goes on to say that since the beginning of 2015 there are about 40 cases of banned residues and harmful substances in Turkish animal origin products and a significant excess of the maximum permissible levels of pesticides, nitrates and nitrites in fruit and vegetables.

The response has been to instruct Rosselkhoznadzor (Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary service) to put strict control of delivery of agricultural products and food from Turkey and arrange additional checks at the border.

In a separate statement Tkachev went on to lay out the scale of the agricultural products and foodstuff trade between the two countries stating that during 10 months of 2015, imports of agricultural products and foodstuffs from Turkey were valued at 1.035 billion US dollars.

Tkachev went on to say that Turkish citrus fruit and vegetables account for 25% and 20% of the total supplies to Russia and that, if necessary, they could be substituted with imports from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, South Africa, China, Argentina, Abkhazia and Georgia.

The Minister further stated that so far this year Russia has exported 3.5mmt grain to Turkey - nearly 12% of total exports of grain - and that in the event of the termination of grain exports to Turkey, Russia would look to Middle East and African countries as export destinations.