Uzbekistan plans to increase its exports of fruits and vegetables in Russia to 400,000 tonnes next year from an expected 250,000 tonnes in 2014. An official at the Uzbek agriculture ministry told RIA Novosti on Wednesday that the government is forecasting a 20 per cent rise in overall fruit and vegetable exports in 2015, taking shipments up to 600,000 tonnes.
“The growth will be achieved primarily through increased exports of fruits and vegetables to Russia, which accounts for over 80 per cent of total exports,” – the official said.
The prospect of boosting trade with Russia was discussed during a visit by Russian premier Vladimir Putin to Uzbekistan on 10 December. However, exporters face a number of constraints, such as the high tariffs and strict quarantine measures imposed by the member countries of the Customs Union, through which goods have to be transported to reach the Russian market. The small quantities involved also often makes it unprofitable to supply Russian retailers.
Fruit and vegetable production in Uzbekistan is forecast to reach 15.5m tonnes in 2015 compared with the 14.4m tonnes expected by the end of 2014.