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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Egypt, Turkey, and other countries increase food exports to Russia

As Russia bans many food imports from the west in response to sanctions by the EU, the US, Australia and Canada, other countries are coming forward to take advantage of the situation for their own producers.


Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said: “Turkey is a major supplier of food and agricultural produce to Russia. It is ready to increase its food exports to Russia if necessary,” Russia and Turkey have agreed to increase the number of Turkish food suppliers to Russia. The new food ban is quite extensive:".. on August 6 Russia introduced a full ban for imports of beef and pork (fresh, chilled, refrigerated, pickled, dried or smoked meat), poultry and any poultry edible products, fish, cheese, milk, dairy products, vegetables, including root vegetables and tuber crops, and fruit from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway. " Apparently wine and baby foods are to be excluded. The full list can be found here.
  China is also expected to increase its exports to Russia as a result of the ban. Egypt is another country that will profit from Russia's ban as it will also import more wheat from Russia while exporting more food products. After meeting with Egyptian president Abdel al-Sisi, President Putin said: "Egypt has already increased (agricultural) supplies to our market by 30 percent (and) is ready to increase (supplies) by yet another 30 percent in the near future," Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov claimed that increased shipment of potatoes, onions, garlic, and oranges would compensate for almost half the shortfall resulting from the ban. Western countries impacted by the ban are also seeking new markets.
 Poland expects to ship more food and produce to Belarus. Belarus is the third most significant economic trading partner for Poland after Russia and the Ukraine: Belarus imported Polish products worth $1.581 billion in 2013, which accounts for 8.9% of the total Belarusian import. In 2013, Poland accounted for 5.5%, or $781.8 million of Belarusian export. At the same time Belarus expects to provide more food and produce to Russia after the ban. 
 Russia is also boosting trade with Latin American countries. The EU is attempting to put pressure on countries not to increase trade with Russia a move that is likely to simply cause tension with the EU: The European Union plans to lobby countries that could benefit from Russia's bans on Western food imports, such as Brazil and Chile, to refrain from bumping up their exports and stick to the international party line on Russia's conduct in Ukraine, the Financial Times reported. 
There is even division within Europe on the wisdom of bans against Russia. The Hungarian Prime Minister Orban said that the EU had "shot itself in the foot" with the sanctions and that the sanctions hurt the EU more than the Russians. He also said that the EU should compensate producers who are losing from the Russian ban and that the EU should rethink their entire policy.

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