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Russian producers ask for a temporary suspension of tomato imports

The 1prime.ru news portal has posted an article on the current situation with the supply of imported vegetable products to Russia. Before that, the National Union of Vegetable and Fruit Producers appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia with a request to temporarily prohibit the importation of foreign tomatoes into the country.

Among the experts invited to make comments on the situation was Larisa Yerina, the Director of the Sales Department at “ECO-culture” agricultural holding. According to representatives of the Union, this measure will help to partially avoid financial and economic losses caused by the extension of self-isolation measures and the weakening of the ruble. This was stated in an official letter sent to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Russian producers ask for a two-month ban on the supply of fresh tomatoes to Russia from China, Morocco, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The agricultural producers believe that the measure will help stabilize the situation in the domestic market of greenhouse vegetables. According to sales data for the last weeks, against the background of increased demand for basic necessities, wholesale prices for tomatoes have decreased by about 50%. Such indicators already now deprive the greenhouse business of profits, while the presence of imported products in the market puts additional pressure on the national producers.

For the year 2019, the Fruit and Vegetable Union estimated the total share of imported vegetable products at 52%. This year, according to experts, due to the fall in demand and purchasing power of consumers, such a tendency will lead to the bankruptcy of many enterprises in the greenhouse industry.

According to the Union’s director Mikhail Glushkov, greenhouse enterprises are among the ones most affected by the economic consequences of the pandemics. People in Russia have stocked up on cereals, canned goods, and pasta, and the demand for fresh vegetables has fallen. The situation was further aggravated by the weakening of the ruble, which led to higher production costs.

Larisa Yerina believes that large domestic companies are also losing profits because the cost of foreign tomatoes and cucumbers is lower, and so is the quality of the products. In recent years, Russian producers have been able to win over consumers precisely because of the quality and environmental friendliness of their vegetables. Without import suspension, it will be extremely difficult to survive in such a tough economic environment.

For the full text of the article, please check the Economic Information Agency resource.