Last week, the Russian government extended the duty-free status on imports of certain Moldovan agri-food products to the Russian market until March 31, 2021. This received positive reactions among the agricultural organizations in Moldova. Thanks to this extension, the proceeds of Moldovan farmers and traders from the supply of apples from the 2020 harvest to Russia may increase by about 70 million lei ($3.9 million) according to calculations by the administrative council of the Fruit Producers and Exporters Association of Moldova, also known as Moldova Fruct.
Vitaliy Gorincioi, chairman of Moldova Fruct, notes that the psychological factor is no less important than the financial benefit in this situation. At the end of this year, uncertainty and tensions grew in the Moldovan agribusiness apple segment in relation to the unstable situation in demand and prices for exports of local products to Russia.
Many in Moldova believe, in parallel with the change in leadership for the country, the political risks for agribusiness, which depend on exports to Russia, are significantly increasing. Hence, the decision by the Russian government to extend the duty-free exemption for the supply of certain goods from Moldova is a positive signal for local agribusiness.
According to estimates from farmer organizations, by the end of this year, about 150,000 tons of apples remain in the refrigerators of agricultural producers and traders. At least 100,000 tons of these products are expected to be sold on the Russian market.
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