Turkish citizens expected the Russian crisis to lower fruit and vegetable prices on the domestic market but they have again increased, having rapidly dropped after the jet was shot down in November. The prices have now returned to pre-crisis levels. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergines especially, have increased in price by an average of 30-50%. A decrease in the supply of products due to cold weather, and the Russian supply being redirected to other channels, has caused the prices to climb again.
Confirming the increase in prices, Izmir Fruit and Vegetable Brokers Association President Orhan Dogan, said that abundant production of citrus products has caused their prices to continue to decrease, although vegetable prices have increased between 30-50 percent in general.
He continued: “Despite the Russian sanctions, exports have continued. Lorries of produce are continuing to be sent to different countries. But Turkey can only export 5% of production. The attitude ‘Russia has stopped imports, prices have crashed’ has had a psychological effect. Prices dropped in the first days of the crisis but have been increasing since last week. The impact of Russia stopping imports had a temporary effect on prices.”
According to current data from the Western Mediterranean Exporters Association (BAIB), from 13 December $10 million of fresh fruit and vegetable were exported. Between 24 November, the start of the jet crisis and 13 December, only $138,432 worth of fresh fruit and vegetable exports were realised. This figure is a 93% decrease on the same period in the previous year. According to BAIB data; from 1 November $66 million of fresh fruit and vegetables exports were realised. This figure fell $30.5 million, down 31.5% compared to the same period of the previous year.
Producers and consumers losers again
Although prices from the fields fell by 50%, the consumers did not necessarily feel the effects of this. The brokers and supermarket chains prevented large price drops at the consumer level.