By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijan exported 129,293 tons of tomatoes worth $138.06 million, source in the government told local media.
Overall exports in quantitative terms dropped by 5 percent compared to the same period in 2018, and declined in cost by 1.4 percent.
Favorable conditions exist for the development of agriculture in Azerbaijan. Plant growing prevails over cattle breeding. Some 61 percent of agricultural production is a crop production, while cattle breeding is just 39 percent.
In this period, the major importer of Azerbaijani tomatoes was Russia, which imported 120,070 tons of product worth $137.53 million in the first 6 moths of 2019.
The export of tomatoes to Russia decreased by 11.5 percent in quantitative terms, and by 1.5 percent in cost as compared to January to June of 2018.
Azerbaijan exported 171,921 tons of tomatoes worth $177.4 million In 2018. Russia was also the major importer of Azerbaijani tomatoes in 2018, consuming 170,315 tons of tomatoes worth $176.26 million.
Azerbaijan's non-oil exports reached $1.689 billion in 2018, which is 10 percent or $151 million more compared to 2017. The major part of exports from Azerbaijan accounted for tomatoes ($177.4 million) in 2018.
In the first half of 2019, the export products included raw cotton worth $74.9 million (an increase of 2.64 times), gold worth $70.4 million (an increase of 16 percent), peeled hazelnuts worth $67.9 million (1.9 times increase), electricity worth $51.9 million (a decline of 4.9 percent), polyethylene worth $41.9 million (a decrease of 16, 9 percent), polypropylene worth $36.2 million (an increase of 72.4 times), methanol worth $31.3 million (an increase of 4.8 times) and cherry and sweet cherry worth $29.7 million (an increase of 10.8 percent).
Constantly expanding fields for crops and application of intensive ways of development in agricultural sector promises very good prospects for Azerbaijan to diversify economy, reduce its dependency on oil and gas sector, and increase the inflow of foreign currency into the country which feeds the investments in non-oil sector.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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