Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Tuesday that up to 50 tons of tomatoes could be imported from four Turkish companies on an annual basis, adding that Russia was expecting constructive measures to be taken in return.
Speaking to state-television Rossiya 24, Dvorkovich underlined that Russia wished to find a reasonable solution to the ongoing embargo.
Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenlçi previously announced that the ministry would not seek approval from a consulate or commercial attaché for some agricultural products imported from Russia as of October 9. The requirement in question included wheat, crude sunflower seed oil, corn, dried peas, rice plants, sunflower meal and durum wheat.
Turkey, which produces 70 percent of tomato exports to Russia, faced a Russian embargo as of Jan. 1, 2016. The country imposed import sanctions on many Turkish products such as tomatoes, oranges, apples, apricots, broccoli, mandarins, pears, chickens and turkeys, however the ban was later lifted after normalization talks began, except for tomatoes.
After the Russian embargo, the amount of tomato exports to the country decreased by 10.3 percent while their value dropped by 34.3 percent in 2016. However, during the first seven months of 2017, the amount of tomatoes exported to Russia increased by 9.4 percent and the value of tomato exports also surged by 24.7 percent.
Turkey exported 541,000 tons of tomatoes to Russia in 2015, however, the amount fell to 486,000 tons in 2016. The value of tomato exports to the country was $365.3 million in 2015 and decreased to $239.9 million the next year.
During the period of January-July, Turkey's tomato exports to Russia reached $198.3 million from last year's $159 million. Moreover, last year, the amount of "the symbol vegetable" exports were recorded at 322,000 tons while it reached to 353,000 tons this year during the first seven months.