By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan exported 113,837 tons of tomatoes worth $123.5 million in the first half of 2021, which is by 23.6 percent less in quantitative terms compared to the corresponding period of 2020, Interfax has reported.
During the reported period, the main importer of Azerbaijani tomatoes was Russia, accounting for 96.4 percent of Azerbaijan's total tomatoes export volume. Thus, Russia imported 109,705 tons of tomatoes worth $121.5 million from Azerbaijan in the first six months of this year. It should be noted that Azerbaijan's tomatoes export to Russia decreased in quantitative terms by 24.9 percent compared to the first six months of 2020.
Last year, Azerbaijan exported 187,539 tons of tomatoes worth $201.3 million. The main importer of Azerbaijani tomatoes last year was Russia, accounting for 95.9 percent of the total export. In 2020, Azerbaijan exported 179,884 tons of tomatoes worth $197.4 million to Russia.
It should be noted that Russia’s agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned the import of Azerbaijani tomatoes and apples on December 10, 2020, citing the necessity to “prevent the import and spread” of pesticides to Russia. However, Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency and relevant agencies are taking joint measures to lift restrictions on the tomatoes and apple export from Azerbaijan to Russia.
So far, relevant Russian authority lifted the ban on import for 187 tomato producer companies operating in Azerbaijan.
Currently, the export potential of enterprises that are allowed to export tomatoes is 329,729 tons, which amounts to 184.5 percent of the volume of tomato products exported to Russia in 2020.
Azerbaijan is a major supplier of fruits and vegetables to Russia. The country ranked first in supplies of fresh and chilled tomatoes. In the list of Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports last year tomatoes ranked second, accounting for $201.4 million.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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