Plans for Turkey's seasonal tomato exports to Russia, which have been subject to bargaining between Moscow and Ankara for more than one year, have begun to crystallize as the upcoming meeting between the Turkish and Russian delegations on Sept. 14 is expected to result in the acquiring of export visas for between 100,000 to 300,000 tons of tomato exports for the October-May period, according to a report by Turkish daily Hürriyet.
Turkish tomatoes will be allowed to enter the Russian market from Oct. 1 until April or May of next year. It is planned that the scope of the purchase will include between 100,000 tons and 300,000 tons of tomatoes, for a defined period of time. Turkey will have the opportunity to recapture previous numbers in terms of export volume to Russia, which registered at 338,000 tons prior to 2015.
Unlike the period prior to Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in its airspace in November 2015, producers and exporters who want to sell tomatoes to Russia will not be allowed to sell tomatoes to the country. Only those who are accredited with a license of compliance will be able to export tomatoes to Russia. Russia's giant supermarket chains such as Dixy Group and Magnit are reported to have initiated preliminary negotiations with Turkish producers for tomato imports.
Russia banned tomato imports from Turkey after the jet-downing crisis in November 2015, which was brought into effect in January 2016. Despite the lifting of restrictions on a number of agricultural products in early June in a decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, the ban on tomatoes still remains unresolved.