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Why Russia is ideal for North African food & drink exporters

With no end in sight for Russia’s food bans, EU produce is still off the table. Given much of Russia’s imported foodstuffs, including massive shipments of fruits and vegetables, came from Europe, a supply gap remains for international food exporters to exploit.

Many nations are stepping up supplies to Russia thanks to its ban on EU goods (read more in our free market guide).

North African producers, such as Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria have spotted this market hole and are ready to fill it with top quality produce. In many ways, the region makes the perfect export base for the Russian market. 

If you’re a food and drink producer in the region, read on to find why you’re well placed to benefit from Russia’s ongoing food ban.

North Africa is already on Russia’s food import hot list

North African fruits and vegetables are already well known on the Russian market. Three years down the line from 2014’s food embargo introduction, Egyptian and Moroccan produce, and very soon Algerian and Tunisian, is now well known to Russians.

“With our partners from countries like Morocco, we are sure about the quality and taste,” Ivan Gulyaev of Tropic International, a Russia-wide fruit and veg importer, told Fruitnet. “Consumers in Russia appreciate this.”

For instance, major Russian supermarket chains Dixy and Lenta inked deals earlier in 2017 to deal directly with Moroccan citrus exporters, helping improve Morocco’s market presence as a chief supplier of quality foodstuffs.

Several successful instalments of WorldFood Moscow, which puts international producers in front of key Russian buyers, helped establish a good rep amongst Russian consumers for North African countries taking part.

And, according to the stats, trade barriers are falling away as exports from major North African players to the Russian market grow.

Russia imports more North African food & drink

Egypt has grown its exports to Russia 26% across the first half of 2017, achieving total sales of $350 million against $286 million in the same period in 2016. And, according to Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil, $303.8m, 86% of Egypt’s entire Russian exports, were fruit and vegetable products.

A report by the Russian Trade Office reveals the extent of Egypt’s exciting trade growth. During the review period, exports of fresh strawberries grew 43.7%, onions by 29.8%, while exports of fresh potatoes exploded by a monumental 159.5%.

Morocco has been enjoying similar increases in exports of key commodities. Exporters have quadrupled their tomato shipments, whereas supplies of kiwis, persimmons, and apples have risen at a breakneck pace. Pear exports have risen by five, kiwis about 8 times the amount shipped prior to Russia’s embargo, whereas apple exports have grown intensely – 35 times against pre-import volumes.

The above comes from a survey undertaken by Russian fruit and veg market analysts APK-Inform after talking to Moscow’s top importers of North African produce Globus, Baltfruit and Nevskaya.

Ivan Gulyaev backs up these increased levels of shipment. Speaking about Tropic International’s activity, Gulayev told Fruitnet “With our age old partners like Morocco, our trade turnover is increasing each year. We have also started looking towards countries like Tunisia, and have found good cooperation there.”

Meet Russia’s key food & drink buyers at WorldFood Moscow

To capitalise on Russia’s growing taste for North African fruits and vegetables, and food and drink in general, exhibit at WorldFood Moscow.

The exhibition is Russia’s biggest and best food event. At the 2017 edition of the show, over 28,000 qualified visitors from 78 Russian regions and 89 countries, met and networked with over 1,400 exhibitng companies.

82% of WorldFood Moscow visitors said they were ready to make buying decisions with the companies they met at the show. Another 74% visited the event exclusively to meet new suppliers and partners.

Get your products the exposure they deserve to a massive dedicated audience of buyers, importers, distributors, and more industry professionals, at WorldFood Moscow.

Contact us now to book your stand for 2018’s exhibition or to learn more about the show.


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