Fruit and vegetable growers in the southern province of Antalya have been enjoying a revival in demand for their produce from Russia.
Initially, Farmers in the provinces were adversely affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine. Exports from the western Mediterranean region to Russia, a major market for Turkiye, declined by 45 percent in April from the same month of 2021 to around 16,000 tons.
When Russia stopped imports of fresh fruit and vegetables, growers turned to the local market and started to sell their produce at lower prices.
Nowadays, the wholesale market in Antalya is busy again, trying to keep up with the demand from Russia.
“Deliveries by ships and trucks have resumed. We do not face shipping problems; the local industry has revived again. The war caused some losses, but we hope to recover soon,” said Hasan Ali Yılmaz, the head of the Antalya Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Brokers’ Association.
Demand from Russia is so strong that freight companies cannot keep up with the pace of the trade, said Volkan Akpınar, the general manager of a company that export produce to Russia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
Turkiye’s overall exports to Russia declined by 38.5 percent on an annual basis to $274 million in March. Exports to this country amounted to $1.2 billion in January-March, falling by 1.3 percent from the same period of last year.
However, Turkiye’s imports from Russia grew by 67 percent in March to $4.2 billion and increased 110 percent in the first quarter to stand at $12.7 billion.