As previously reported on this blog, with Moscow blocking imports of food from several European and western countries in response to sanction placed on Russia, Turkish food makers are seeing an opportunity for boosting their exports.
Despite objects from some European neighbors that Turkey is "exploiting" the situation at the expense of solidarity in the face of Russia's destabilizing actions in Ukraine, the efforts by Turkish exporters appear to be continuing. Reports Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency:
Turkey plans to increase food supplies to Russia to $3.0 billion in 2015 from $1.2 billion in 2013 if customs duties are lowered, Zechariah Mete, chairman of the country’s grocery products exporters association, said Tuesday. “We do not ask for special privileges or preferences. We request that (customs) duties (for the country) are set equal to that of the EU. There is no reason to put Turkey in another tax category,” Mete said. Turkey has a potential to raise annual food exports to Russia to $3 billion-$4 billion in 2015-2016, he said.
Turkey is ready to export poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, confectionery, cereals, legumes and oil-plants.
Turkey also plans to double its sweets supplies to Russia to $80 million in 2015 from around $37 million in 2013 on the background of rising interest from Russian companies to counteragents from countries which did not support sanctions against Moscow, Hidayet Kadiroglu, head of the association’s confectionery direction, said. Turkey may raise its confectionary supplies to Russia to $2 billion in the long run.
But while increasing exports to Russia might make business sense for Turkish producers, according to some analysts doing so might lead to an increase in food prices for Turkish consumers, who are already facing price hikes because of recent droughts and low harvests.