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Can Belarus benefit from Russian sanctions against Turkey?
On November 30, Russian government banned the imports of some Turkish foodstuffs and produce including: cattle and poultry meat, milk and dairy products, fish (also seafood), nuts, fruit, vegetables, berries and greens.
Will the Russian sanctions affect Belarus?
According to Belarusian National Statistics Committee, Belarus imported products from Turkey worth $463.2 (1.14% of total imports) in 2014. Fruit and vegetables accounted for the biggest share of Turkish imports.
A representative of the Belarusian company that imports Turkish fruit and vegetables says he does not expect any negative effects.
“I expect imports to Belarus to grow. Perhaps, that will drive the costs down. I would say we can expect only those changes,” says the specialist.
A representative of another trade company that deals with friut and vegetables reckons that the future decrease in the costs of Turkish produce is not obvious:
“When Russia refused from European produce, costs went up in Spain. There were many questions back then.”
She says none of EU suppliers sold off their produce at low prices. On the contrary, costs grew in fact.
“Based on that experience, it is hard to say today how the situation will unfold. Back then, everyone predicted that we would buy mandarines, tomatos for peanuts, but the prices never fell," says the specialist.
Econimist Heorhiy Hryts reckons Belarusian consumers will not be affected by these sanctions. We will only benefit from Turkish vegetables failing to end up on the tables of Russians.
“Objectively, the price of Turkish produce may fall. Objectively, the end consumer in Belarus will benefit."
Vadzim Yosub, leading economist and analyst at Alpary company, says Russia was a huge market for Turkey. The disruption of supplies may lead to accumulated stock surpluses at the domestic market..
“Theoretically, this may lead to produce growing cheaper, including for imports to Belarus, reckons the economist.