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Your guide to Azerbaijan’s food imports

Azerbaijan is a nation with an intriguing, growing food industry and a healthy import market. Indeed, imports of food and agricultural products make up 17.5% of Azerbaijan’s total merchandise imports – or around $1.6 billion annually. With an already established food import base, the big question on exporters' lips is what are the main import categories in demand by Azerbaijani consumers?
According to data from Azstat, Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee (SCC), imports of fruits and vegetables are steadily increasing. 2015, for example, saw import values of these products increase, implying there is a strong export market waiting to be tapped by international producers.
In the first quarter of 2015, imports of fruit and vegetables reached $22 million – a $14 million increase compared with import levels during the same period in 2014. On the whole, imports of edible fruits and nuts, reached $35.4 million across the whole of 2015 while vegetables imports, including roots and tubers, hit $22.6 million.
It appears 2016 will be a strong year for Azerbaijan’s fruit and vegetable imports. A report from the SCC has shown that, during January-March, import volumes have risen to an incredible $43.2 million.
Preparations of fruits and vegetables came to a total of $20.7 million in 2015, according Azstat data. However, fruit and vegetables are only one part of Azerbaijan’s overall agriproduct imports.
Meat is also big business. Azstat reported that, in 2015, meat and edible meat offal imports totalled $19.8 million. The State Customs Committee revealed in the first quarter of 2016 meat imports grew 13.62% compared with last year’s levels, amounting to $5.4 million worth of meat products imported across January-March.
This was outstripped by the volume of dairy products, incorporating honey and birds eggs, which came to a grand total of $57.1 million in 2015. 
Beverages, too, show significant import values on the Azerbaijani market. Total imports for this sector came to $80.7 million, with tea and coffee accounting for $17.4 of overall volumes. Tea imports are performing well in the first quarter of 2016, comparatively growing over 2.9 times to reach $9 million.
Butter is also making waves on the Azerbaijan import market. The SCC has reported that import levels have grown 35.37% in the first quarter of 2016. Import volumes amounted to $10 million during this period.
Rounding offf our profile of Azerbaijan’s food and drink imports is fish and seafood. Imports of this nature came to $16.3 million. Preparations of seafood, including crustaceans, contributed $9.1 of this total.
The overall picture of Azerbaijan’s food imports market a high demand for fruit and vegetables, with alongside a growing need for meat, butter and tea. Significant opportunities are presenting themselves for foreign firms throughout the Central Asian state, and trade shows such as WorldFood Azerbaijan, put them within your reach. Learn more about this event today, and begin your journey towards Azerbaijani success.
Image: Carol Von Canon via Flickr


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