Turkish tomato exporters welcomed Russia’s decision to increase Turkey’s tomato exports quota by 50,000 tons. They had been waiting for this decision as the upper limits of the quota were reached easily even before the end of last year.
Hayrettin Uçak, the chairman of the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association, said that Thursday that the raising of the quota from the previous upper limit of 200,000 tons to 250,000 tons for fresh or chilled tomatoes is pleasing news.
Uçak said, “As a result of intense diplomatic efforts, a solution was found before the problem got out of hand.”
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan late Wednesday announced the raising of the quota via a Twitter statement. She said the approval process of Russia’s decree on the subject has been completed and that the decree will come into effect after 10 days.
Turkey’s tomatoes exports increased by 3% in 2020 to $313.4 million (TL 2 billion), while most of the foreign sales were made to Russia, according to the data of the Turkey Exporters Assembly (TIM). Though there was a 28% year-on-year decrease in exports to that country, the total value of the sales was recorded as $62.2 million, down from $82.2 million in 2019.
Turkish exporters called for a removal of quotas on tomato sales to Russia last December as they had reached the limits of the quota by the end of November, a move they claim is supported by both Turkish exporters and Russian importers. Later in the same month, Interfax news agency reported that the Russian agriculture ministry has proposed increasing its quota for tomato imports from Turkey by 25%.
“However, the exporters still have the same demand of complete lifting of the quota,” Uçak added…