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Russian ban may support Turkish exports

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 6/2/2011 12:00:00 AM |

A recent import ban on European vegetable imports by Russia, Turkey's leading fresh fruits and vegetables market, is promising new opportunities for local businesses.

A recent import ban on European vegetable imports by Russia, Turkey’s leading fresh fruits and vegetables market, is promising new opportunities for local businesses, according to professionals.

Russia has blacklisted EU countries due to the lethal bacteria  E.Coli spread by cucumbers that have killed dozens across the continent.

Thanks to the ban, Turkey takes a step forward in its competition with Spain, a major rival in the fruits and vegetables trade, according to Ali Kavak, head of a sectoral exporters’ union in the Mediterranean region.

Kavak said 35 or 40 percent of Turkey’s annual fresh fruit and vegetables exports of around 3 million tons goes to Russia.

Germany is the second biggest market for the sector, while Ukraine, Romania, Iraq and Middle East countries are among the remaining top buyers, he said.

Kavak said if the crisis had emerged a few months ago, when the season for cucumber production had not ended yet, local business would have achieved even higher sales.

Mustafa Satıcı, head of fresh fruits and vegetables exporters’ union in the southern province of Antalya, a major producer of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, said the consumers across Europe were concerned.

Russia’s fruits and vegetables with trade Russia was already on the rise before the crisis, Satıcı said.

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