Azerbaijan’s export opportunities expand towards Russia

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan’s opportunities to export to Russian market can rise from the next year, as Russia will ban importing Ukrainian food products from January 2016.

This ban is expanding opportunities for the supply of goods from Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran, a source in the Azerbaijani government.

Russia experienced the need to increase food imports from a number of countries, including the CIS states, after the introduction of restrictions on imports from the U.S., EU states, Canada, Australia, and Norway.

Since Ukraine joined the economic and financial sanctions against its northern neighbor, Russia decided to impose safeguard measures in the form of food embargoes.

The source noted that Turkey has direct access to Russia via the Black Sea, etc, which will allow the country to freely supply Turkish products to Russian market.

“Given favorable transit conditions, Iran is interested in supplying its products to Russia via Azerbaijan. Naturally, the transit of Iranian products can also be an additional source of income for Azerbaijan,” the source reported.

The source did not rule out the possibility of increasing food supply from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, noting that this will depend on the demand in the country as Azerbaijan itself increases the manufacture of agricultural products.

Ukraine mainly exports alcoholic beverages, confectionery and dairy products to Azerbaijan.

High quality Azerbaijani products have been in demand in neighboring countries for quite some time; however, the country did not previously have the capacity to export these products in large quantities.

Based on the agreements reached in last summer, Azerbaijan has significantly increased the supply of agricultural products including fruits and vegetables to Russia.

Azerbaijan also plans to create national agricultural centers in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other regions of Russia.

The Russian Federal Customs Service reported that as of today, the trade turnover with Azerbaijan amounts to $2.1 billion, of which $351.1 million falls for import to Russia. Last year, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia for the first time exceeded $4 billion.

The share of Azerbaijani goods in Russia’s total import is 0.26 percent, while the figure is 2.2 percent among the imports from the CIS countries.

The share of import from Ukraine is about 3.1 percent in the total volume of delivery to Russia and in the CIS – 26.85 percent. The trade turnover between these countries decreased following the deterioration of relations caused by the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in March 2014.

In January-September, the trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine amounted to $10.87 billion, of which import of Ukrainian production amounts for $4.24 billion.

In the same period last year, the trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine amounted to $23.5 billion, import – $8.8 billion. The share of import of Ukrainian goods to Russia in the total volume of deliveries to the country amounted to 4 percent, in the CIS – 34 percent.

Turkey exported products in the amount of $3 billion to Russia in the nine month of 2015 with a turnover of $18 billion.

The share of Iranian products in import to Russia is not high – $188.9 million with the trade turnover between the countries amounting $917.2 million.


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