Belarus decided to feed Russian Turkish tomatoes

Turkey perjorative “tomato flows”, intended for the Russian market, Belarus, which has become the main direction of the export of Turkish tomatoes. In the first quarter of 2017 Belarusians bought from the Turks of this product by $32.4 million However our farmers too early to celebrate. Not all procured vegetable is implemented on the territory of Belarus. Industry experts are convinced that the purpose of such tomatoes — illegal re-export to Russia.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

For three months of the current year Turkey’s exports of tomatoes for $123,05 million, which is 54% higher than the same period in 2016, reported the statistics Institute of Turkey. For the first quarter of 2017, most of Turkish tomatoes was sent to Belarus ($32.4 million), and Romania ($18 million), Poland ($11.8 million) and Iraq ($7.6 million).

According to the Belarusian economist Leonid Zlotnikov, or even citizens of the country will not be able “to eat tomatoes more than the poles.” “Besides, Belarus is importing tomatoes from Turkey. It is not excluded that part of these vegetables is exported to Russia”, — said the expert.

And this despite the agreements reached between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the mutual lifting of restrictions in trade relations between the two countries. In early may, the leaders of Russia and Turkey adopted a decision to cancel almost all of the embargo, as it negatively affects the economy of both countries. Relative to agricultural restrictions, Erdogan has allowed the Russian producers to import duty-free into its territory wheat, and Russia gave the nod to imports of Turkish fruits and vegetables, except the tomatoes.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich after negotiations the Russian leader, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the ban on the supply of tomatoes in Russia could last another 3-5 years, while our farmers will adjust their production, and investors will not return invested in the development of agriculture funds.

As suggested by the Director of the Association “Greenhouses of Russia” Natalia Rogova, the return of the Russian market for Turkish tomatoes would negatively affect local farmers. “Today, investors are investing big money in Russian greenhouses. If cheap tomatoes will flood into Russia, our producers will be very hard to resist them. College of agriculture Dmitry Medvedev said that everyone understands that the business invests heavily in the development of the industry. Those who have already invested, do not want to risk it and will just stop investing,” says the expert.

Experts say that, despite the current ban on the import of tomatoes to Russia, vegetables from Turkey all the same fall on our shelves. Flow “tomato river” straight through Belarus. “The changing geography of supply of Turkish tomatoes remained mostly on paper. Actually a little complicated supply chain, but the final destination remained the same. This, including Russia, — said a member of the chamber of Commerce Anna Vovk. — Major growth of export of tomatoes from Turkey fell on Belarus, but most of these tomatoes in various ways falls into Russia. That is why last year Belarus 4 times the increased purchase of Turkish tomatoes”.

Belarusian market, which is oversaturated with supply of tomatoes from Europe, plus its own production, will not be able to eat Turkish tomatoes, says the analyst of “ALOR broker” Kirill Yakovenko. “The volume of deliveries of tomatoes from Turkey to Russia amounted to 440 thousand tons. If these tomatoes really will rush to the market of Belarus, he will not be able to provide vegetables in demand and their price would be extremely low for wholesalers”.

If the shadow market tomatoes all clear, the future supply of Russian wheat to Turkey rather vague. Moscow and Ankara have confirmed the removal of all restrictions on the import of grain. However, after some time there were rumors that the Turkish authorities intend to reduce the proportion of our wheat imports these cereals up to 25%. Therefore, in future deterioration in Russian-Turkish trade confrontation can not be avoided. “The Turks have retained limits on the import of grain and, as a consequence, effectively barred private millers procured opportunities in Russia, — says Yakovenko. Russia, in turn, lifted the ban on the importation of tomatoes, the market for which is estimated at around $520 million.”

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