Russia to halve apple import duties next year
Russia is to cut its apple imports by half when it joins the World Trade Organization next year and then again by another half by 2017, website Interfax.com reported.
The current duties on apples are 0.2 euros per kilogram (12 cents per lb).
Once Russia joins the WTO in the middle of next year this will drop to 0.06 euros per kilogram (3.6 cents per lb) and is supposed to decreasing to 0.03 euros per kilogram (1.8 cents per lb) by 2017.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures show Russia as the biggest importer of apples and pears for 2010.
Apple shipments reached 1.11 million MT worth US$719 million in 2010, and could grow to 1.12 MT this year, largely due to an increase in imports from Europe.
Poland is the main supplier shipping 250,000 MT, followed by China with about 160,000 MT and Moldova at about 150,000 MT.
Apples account for a quarter of the Russian fruit market, which measured 1.53 MT, or 24 lbs per person per year in 2010, and is set to grow to 1.54 MT this year.
Russian pear imports totaled 409,900 MT, or US $424.6 million in 2010, up by 7% and 20% respectively from 2009.
Analysts expect imports to imports to increase to 412,000 MT this year.
Belgium with about 140,000 MT, Argentina with about 110,000 MT, and the Netherlands with about 50,000 MT.
Russia consumed 492,000 MT of pears, or 7.5 lbs per person, in 2010.
It's estimated this could grow to 497,000 MT this year.
Photo: Petr Kratochvil