Roman Alekhin, head of the marketing team of Russia’s “Aleshin and partners”, said: “Chinese suppliers have long wanted to export fruit to Russia, but there have been transportation problems because shipping requires about one half a month. With the opening of rail transport, it is finally possible to export fruit to Russia.” He said that there is a demand for apples and vegetables in the Russian market in winter. The only problem is how China competes with suppliers in other countries in terms of product prices and quality. Alexey Korenev, an analyst at Finam Group, said: “The first batch of 26 tons of apples imported from China relative to Russia and the total amount of Chinese exports is a drop in the ocean. We believe that the recent Chinese apples share in the Russian market will grow steadily, and there is no political burden between our two countries due to sanctions imposed by western countries.”
Finik Group analyst Alexei Klenev said: “Russia is one of the world’s largest apple importers. Russia’s apple self-sufficiency rate is extremely low, most need to be imported.” The US Department of Agriculture’s Overseas Agriculture Bureau issued inJune review It shows that in the 2016/17 season (July 16 to June 17), Russian apple imports can reach 670,000 tons. According to data from the Russian Customs Administration, Russia imported 676,600 tons of fresh apples in 2016, and 622,200 tons in the first 11 months of 2017. Klenev pointed out: “The statistics for the whole year of 2017 have not yet been released, but the general situation can be seen from the data of the first 11 months. If calculated according to the average of 13-15% of the total imports in December, the whole year it should be more than 700,000 tons.” In comparison, Russia’s domestic apple production in 2017 was about 800,000 to 850,000 tons. Only this year, domestic production exceeded imports. Klenev said: “The domestic production can only meet the demand of 5.8 kilograms per capita per year in Russia. According to official data released by the Ministry of Health, Russia consumes 50 kilograms of an apple per capita per year, so whether it is apples, garlic or many other varieties of vegetables and fruit. It is obviously urgent to expand imports. According to him, Russian pear imports rank first in the world, so it is expected to import the fruit from China in the future. It should be pointed out that China is a global leader in this respect. In the past five years, China’s apple production has grown steadily. This quarter’s output reached 43.5 million tons, which is higher than the previous agricultural year of 900,000 tons.
Bogdan Zvarich, the senior analyst at the Russian Financial Free Investment Corporation, said: “While importing vegetables and fruits from China, importers may face fierce competition in our market. In fact, the government implemented Anti-sanction measures have greatly promoted the development of China’s domestic agriculture. I believe that this driving force will continue to play a role. As a result, the supply of domestically produced agricultural products in the domestic market will continue to increase. In some products, China imports will face fierce competition and is unlikely to dominate.” He also believes that China will occupy a large market share in some products that are not produced in Russia. Open broker analyst Timur Nigmatullin believes that although exporting apples to Russia by sea is much more cost-effective than rail transport, shipping takes about one and a half months (45-46 days), and land transport only takes 16 days. He said: “In any case, expanding supply channels can partially offset the negative impact of mutual sanctions between Russia and the West.” Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin said in early February that Uzbekistan plans to increase by one to two times of the number of vegetables and fruits exported to Russia. In addition, Uzbekistan and Russia also intend to establish a green corridor to export fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products. The “Green Corridor” will simplify customs and plant inspection and quarantine inspection procedures for Uzbekistan’s export of vegetables and fruits to Russia.