HomeNewsRussia remains the main market for Polish apples thanks to “parallel imports”

Russia remains the main market for Polish apples thanks to “parallel imports”

According to EastFruit analysts, Polish farmers continue to feed apples to consumers in the aggressor country and make good money doing it. At the same time, they regularly demand a ban on the imports of food from Ukraine, the country defending itself and Europe from Russian aggressors.

Despite the ban on importing apples from Poland and other EU countries to Russia, in the first half of 2023 from 50 to 70 thousand tons of fresh apples from Poland found their consumers in Russia according to our estimates. How does Poland manage to circumvent the ban? Kazakhstan and Belarus are helping Polish growers and traders in the process. Exports of apples to these countries, which are members of the so-called Eurasian Economic Union along with Russia, is not prohibited and they are also not banning imports from the EU. Traders in Kazakhstan and Belarus, according to market participants, are actively taking advantage of this opportunity to re-export Polish apples to the Russian market. Of course, such operations are not legal in Kazakhstan or Belarus, because the documents on the origin of the apple are replaced, but regulatory authorities in all countries turn a blind eye to this activity. Moreover, Russia strongly encourages “gray imports” because you want to eat.

This could be called a “parallel import” if Polish suppliers did not know who the apples were actually intended for. However, this is not so – according to our information, suppliers know and understand perfectly well that the apples are intended for Russia, but for the sake of making money they turn a blind eye to the fact that they are feeding the aggressor. Moreover, they are doing everything they can to hide this fact from the public.

Official data from Polish foreign trade statistics for the first six months of 2023 show that 43.2 thousand tons of fresh apples were exported to Kazakhstan, and 26.5 thousand tons to Belarus. Thus, the total volume of supplies to these countries reached almost 70 thousand tons or more than 15% of all apples exported from Poland during this period of time.

Read also: “Ban raspberry imports from Ukraine and Moldova!”, demand Polish farmers. Would it really help?

Other leaders in apple imports from Poland were Romania with an import volume of 47.8 thousand tons, Egypt – 36.7 thousand tons, and India, which purchased 25.3 thousand tons of Polish apples. Thus, we can conclude that the income of Polish apple producers continues to be largely dependent on supplies to the Russian market.


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