Politically trustworthy agricultural products to cross Russian border

The trading for the agricultural market of Russia has started. A few days ago, the Russian government imposed sanctions (http://www.rg.ru/2014/08/08/postanovlenie-dok.html) to almost all types of agricultural products imported from the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and Norway. Prohibited product categories include meat (except lamb), poultry, fish and meat products, milk and milk products, vegetables and fruits, as well as products based on vegetable fats.

Azerbaijan along with other participants of the CIS, Asian and South American countries and the countries of the Pacific can take the vacant niche. It is capable of supply of vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts. Today, the country exports to Russia just over 200 000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, although in the record 1986 to various regions of the USSR were delivered 855,000 tons only of early vegetables from the subtropical zone, and 1.539 million tons of grapes. Deliveries of figs, quinces and pomegranates were associated almost exclusively with Azerbaijan.

Russia after the collapse of the Union constrained supply of agricultural products from the "All-Union backyard", traditionally giving priority to political rather than market aspects of the economy. Example - last year (data Azpromo), the country grew 250,000 tons of apples, of which only 14.8% or 37 000 tonnes crossed the border with Dagestan. Gardeners of the Guba region were puzzled over the fact that a part of the same product was available to Russian consumers, while most returned to cheaper local markets. Same with pears - in 2013 was grown 40,000 tons, but exported to Russia was only 168 tons. Local producers do not take offense at the northern neighbors, where the market is dependent on political expediency. The reader will remember how, after the conflict with Georgia they found hazardous to health Georgian mineral water and wine, after the conflict with Ukraine there appeared "substandard" candies and after tensions with Belarus - meat and dairy products.

Speaking of apples - the ban on Polish and Ukrainian products will allow the domestic gardeners to increase the supply to the Russian Federation this fall triple against last year, with a sharp increase in prices for local consumers. In 2013, Russia imported 1.24 million tons of apples, of which Poland's share was 54%.

In August, in the Russian market of agricultural products the most popular ones are Azerbaijani tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, zucchini and canned food from them, melons and watermelons. Grapes and pomegranates and juices from them will come soon, and closer to winter vans with persimmons will gather in turn on the border. Both the official Baku and local producers are ready to increase their presence in the north due to the actually increased demand for “Soviet production” in the Russian Federation. According to experts, the ban on products from the West will allow the Russians to create serious economic bind to the post-Soviet republics, in need of a market for their crops rapidly dying in the fields and gardens.

According to Assistant Head of Rosselkhoznadzor (Russian State Agriculture Control Department), Alexei Alexeenko, in the former Soviet republics, the most important advantage over the same Turkey is logistics. Geographical proximity and an extensive network of modern transport enables delivery of Azerbaijani goods by rail, on the highway and waterway to Astrakhan and the Volga-Don canal deep in the RF. The official said the timely idea of ​​creating a joint Russian-Azerbaijani business has been almost realized. "It will focus specifically on the Russian market, because it will allow immediately taking into account all the requirements of the Russian legislation on the cultivation, production and delivery of products - that is, it will not have any problems with our federal agency. Also, it will cover the remainder of the claim, for example, with modern packaging, and will adjust its production for the Russian market," said Alexeenko, adding that the authors of the idea have an understanding of the situation, knowledge of the requirements and experience of similar projects.

"Welcome" from the Russian government for goods from Azerbaijan has already affected the local markets - from 15 August tomatoes that cost 50 kopecks were already worth 80 kopecks, aubergines and courgettes rose by half - to 50-60 kopecks, watermelons have become more valuable than half - 40 kopecks per kilogram. It seems consumers will have to wait for the next RF flirting with the West, when it will impose a ban on the import of Azerbaijani products, formalized as "an emergency measure against the supply of health-hazardous products." -17D-


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