Moscow recently decided to lift the yearly quote for Turkish tomato imports from 150,000 tons to 200,000 tons after some containers carrying Turkish tomatoes were returned last month, saying that the quotas were already met.
“We exported 98,000 tons of tomatoes to Russia in 2019. Turkish exporters can send 50,000 tons [of tomatoes] in a couple of months. Thus, we want the quote to be removed completely,” said Hayrettin Uçak, chairman of the Aegean Union of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters.
Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli are in talks with their Russian counterparts to lift the quotes in bilateral trade and they expect the trade diplomacy to bear fruits in the upcoming months, said Ucak.
Turkey’s tomato exports to Russia increased 181 percent in 2019, bringing the country a total of $74.5 million.
In January 2016, after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet violating its airspace, Russia banned imports of Turkish fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, oranges, apples, apricots, cabbage, broccoli, mandarins, pears, peaches, cucumbers, plums, strawberries, onions, cloves, and poultry. Russia relaxed these trade sanctions during the summer of 2017.