A petition against the destruction of food by the Russian authorities has been signed by half a million Russians. A ray of hope for the Russian economy: between July and September, for the first time in five years more capital flowed into the country than was exported. All forecasts still speak of a capital flight for this year though. Medvedev said that an expansion of the boycott is not desirable. Moroccan exporters see a lot of potential in the Russian market. The sector puts a lot of effort into getting the products on the market. Turkish exporters are disappointed, on the other hand. They had hoped export would increase, but it actually went down.

Report MH17 presented
The Dutch Safety Board presents its report with conclusions from its research into the MH17 crash. The report is expected to give definitive disclosure about the circumstances and cause of the crash, and give answers to other questions that are still open. The MH17 crash caused relations with Russia to deteriorate further, sanctions followed, in answer of which Russia closed its borders to food from several Western countries.

EU suspends sanctions Belarus
The European Union has suspended the sanctions against Belarus for four months. The Union froze the assets of 150 individuals, including the president, and denied these individuals access to the Union. In addition, there is a boycott on arms and dual-use goods. The suspension reportedly only applies to the 150 individuals, not to arms trade.

Capital flight halted temporarily
The past quarter, Russia had more capital flow into the country that out, for the first time in five years. Since the economic misery, Russia has experience a flight of capital. Between July and September, 5.3 billion dollars flowed into Russia, according to figures from the Central Bank. Although the figure is positive, still 45 billion dollars flowed out of the country in the first nine months of this year. Last year, 76.8 billion dollars were exported in the same period. 87 billion dollars are expected to leave the country this year.

500,000 Russians against destruction of food
A petition against the destruction of boycotted food has been signed by 500,000 Russians. The writers of the petition call on Putin to put an end to the destruction of boycotted products. In addition, the Duma is asked to pass a law that would distribute confiscated products among those members of the public that need the products. Last month, the phytosanitary service announced that 738 tonnes were destroyed.

Total boycott not desirable
Recently, Prime Minister Medvedev responded to the various requests the government reportedly gets on expansion of the boycott. Clothing and second-hand cars are two product groups for which lobbyists want the borders to be closed. Medvedev doesn't acquiesce to these requests. According to the prime minister, a general boycott would not improve the quality of the products, and harm the economy.

Moroccan export focuses on Russian market
For the second time, Morocco is organizing a Moroccan festival in Moscow, between November 6 and 20. The goal is to improve the Moroccan position in the Russian market, a market full of potential for the North African country. According to the association of fresh produce exporters, the export to Russia has increased by 14 to 20 percent thanks to the boycott. Traders hope the boycott will continue. That gives them the opportunity to conquer a higher market share.

A trade mission of thirty Moroccan companies participated in World Food Moscow. This mission was organized by the Autonomous Establishment for Export Control and Coordination (EACCE).

Starting in January 2016, the EACCE will be the exclusive institute for the promotion of agricultural products. Russia is a very interesting market for the Moroccan exporters. At the trade show, Moroccan companies successfully established contacts with large importing groups, with a focus on quality matters and the preparation for the 2015-2016 export season, mainly for citrus and tomatoes.

According to Moroccan traders, the Russian market is a dilemma due to problems with exporting. On the one hand, it's a strategic market for open field fruit and vegetables, but on the other hand exporters need to make significant efforts, particularly when it comes to improving the quality of the product. To simplify this process, the EACCE opened a permanent office in Saint Petersburg, to better enable overseeing the arrival of containers, labelling, prices and the like.

This bureau has led to an improvement in the situation of exporters. There are a lot of complaints about the Russian exporters now, who aren't paying, mostly as a result of the rouble's volatility. This is one of the main topics discussed during the meetings between Moroccan exporters and their Russian partners.

Azerbaijan expands greenhouse acreage
Greenhouse growers in Azerbaijan are looking for opportunities to expand the acreage. The growers see many opportunities on the Russian market. According to official figures from the Ministry of Economy and Industry, 24 projects are already supported with 58 million dollars. Although the export of fruit and vegetables is on the rise, the increase in export is limited.

Turkish exporters concerned about 40% export decrease
Despite earlier reports on Russia's high potential, Turkish exporters are concerned. The potential is not translated into higher export figures. Actually, 40% less was exported during the first nine months of this year to the Black Sea region. President of the exporters association for the eastern Black Sea, Ahmet Hamdi Gurdogan: "We hoped the import flow from Russia would shift to Turkey after the boycott, and that we would be able to export more, but we've ended up in a completely different situation. Not only has the export not increased, we are even exporting less." Turkish exporters have invested a lot in the Russian market. Losing this market would be a heavy blow for Turkish trade. That threat is present because Russia has strict demands regarding products.

Less dependent on apple import, higher acreage
To decrease the dependence on the import of apples, the acreage needs to be increased to 65,000 hectares, Agriculture Minister Tkachev said. This would have to increase domestic production by 80 to 85 percent. At the moment, the market depends on import for 50%. Around three million tonnes are grown and imported. To launch this plan, an investment of many billions of euros is required.

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