No increase is expected in the exports of Egyptian agricultural products to Russia, Chairman of Agriculture Products Export Council (APEC) Ali Eissa told Daily News Egypt, attributing this to decline in the Russian rouble and lower per capita income.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said the volume of agricultural product exports to Russia was approximately 627,000 tonnes during 2013. During the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Egypt’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $310mn.
APEC’s chairman said that the agricultural products imported by Russia from the European Union before the boycott are not the same products it imports from Egypt.
Officials noted that the delays in deliveries and inspection process are identified as one of the main obstacles that face the agri-food exportation process, while others believed that the market fluctuations are the main challenge.
Russia, according to Eissa, is one the main importers of Egyptian agricultural products.
On other barriers, Alaa Ezz, the Secretary General of the Egyptian-Russian Business Council, told Daily News Egypt that time was a main constraint.
“To arrive from Cairo to Moscow, you have multi-modular transports where you have trucks then ships then trucks or railways,” Ezz said. “This is a time consuming process that takes between 20 to 40 days.”
Ezz said that the two sides are discussing means to resolve these issues, especially for products that are time-sensitive, such as fruits and vegetables.
“We are looking also at pre-inspections. You can’t arrive late then have the health and agriculture inspection, which takes a further period,” Ezz said.
He added that both sides are looking into reaching an agreement where they can have the Russian inspection team residing in Egypt to seal the containers and send them.
“We are also looking at agreement where both sides ratify authorities,” Ezz added.