Azerbaijan prioritizes persimmon, hazelnut and almond as 'green' exports.
Over the last two years, the dominating position in the structure of Azerbaijan's non-oil exports was held unambiguously by industrial products, and against this background, the decreased agricultural exports of certain items remained in the shadow.
Nevertheless, there are dynamic developments in the production and supply of horticultural products, and the country takes the leading positions in the world in a number of positions. Thus, according to data published on October 14 by the online trade portal Azexport.az, Azerbaijan ranks second in the world’s persimmon export, and at the same time, ranks third in the global supply of hazelnuts, seeking to become the main exporter of seedlings of hazelnut and fruit trees in CIS.
Supplies of fresh fruit and vegetable products to the markets of post-Soviet countries have for many years played the role of a driving force that ensures sustainable growth of production in the dynamically developing agricultural sector of Azerbaijan. This is particularly true of Russia, given that the northern neighbor accounts for about five-sixths of all foreign shipments of Azerbaijani fruit and vegetables. At the same time, tomato exports, which in recent years have accounted for about two-thirds of all foreign shipments of agricultural products, lead the key role in this segment.
With the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the expert community became concerned about the deterioration of Azerbaijan’s foreign trade prospects, in particular the reduction of fruit and vegetable exports to its main market – the Russian Federation. However, according to the Centre for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communications, in the segment of seasonal fruit and vegetables in general a significant decline in supplies was avoided, in particular, in January-August 2022, the export of tomatoes amounted to $134.2 million with an increase of 4.7% against the same period last year. In the first half of the year, there was a 35.6% reduction in shipments of apples (in tonnes), but in monetary terms, due to higher prices, there was still an 8% increase.
Moreover, the main apple crop is harvested by September and sold in autumn, so at the end of this year, this imbalance in the Russian direction will probably be overcome. There is also no doubt that the anti-Russian sanctions regime has significantly complicated trade relations with the EU countries, including Poland, which until recently was the main supplier of apples to Russia.
It is also worth noting that exports of fruit and vegetable products (originally cheap) from South America, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, etc., have become considerably more expensive amid sharply increased transportation, storage and logistics costs back in 2021. Economic sanctions, which are tightened almost every month, a practical ban on servicing Russian vessels in many international ports, and the withdrawal of the world’s leading forwarders from the Russian market have completely depleted the Russian market of fruit and vegetable products in a number of segments. Against this background, the position of suppliers of green products from China, Turkey, Iran, and the CIS countries, primarily Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, is improving, because, given the closer delivery distance, fruit and vegetables are often much cheaper.
Source: Aze Media