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					Russian nut imports trebled since 1999 as demand soars

RUSSIAN consumption of edible nuts is rising at a dizzying speed.

The country's imports, in virtually every category, have posted increases every
year for the last five years.

Russian uptake is still small by the standards of other consuming nations like
Germany and the UK, but at the current rate of increase it will soon be
impressive. The country's thriving confectionery and chocolate industry is partly
responsible for the growth in imports.

Total Russian imports of the five main nut categories (hazelnuts, almonds,
pistachios, coconuts and walnuts) was 27 860 tonnes. This is 16% more than
the 23 930 tonnes imported in 2002. In 1999, Russia took just 8 080 tonnes of
edible nuts:

uptake has thus trebled in four years.

In contrast to many other importing nations, Russia's biggest edible nut sector
(where imports are concerned) is desiccated coconut.

Russian imports of coconut rose by 7% in 2003 to 8 520 tonnes from 7 930
tonnes in 2002 and by nearly 60% compared with the figures for 2001. In all,
imports have more than quadrupled since 1999 (1 950 tonnes). Both Indonesia
and the Philippines, the two main supplying nations, have seen uptake of their
products rise vertiginously.

Almonds are the next largest sector, and these have grown more than six-fold
since 1999. In 2003, Russia imported 6 910 tonnes of almonds, representing an
increase of 27% over 2002 when 5 440 tonnes were imported. The US is the
dominant supplier, accounting for almost all exports. Spain, the major European
grower of almonds, supplies nothing, although a few tonnes may slip into the
country as imports from Germany.

Russia imported 5 690 tonnes of pistachios in 2003, 10% more than in 2002
and 26% more than in 2001.

Pistachio uptake has doubled since 1999, and Iran has always been the only
supplier of any note, although the US did send a few hundred tonnes to Russia
in 1999.

Russian uptake of hazelnuts was 4990 tonnes in 2003, nearly 1 000 tonnes
more than in the previous year. Imports dipped by 20% between 2001 and
2002, to 3 990 tonnes from 5 040 tonnes, so 2003 represents a recovery to
previous levels rather than an increase.

Hazelnut sourcing
Russia does not source from Turkey, the world's leading producer, but instead
buys most of its supplies from Azerbaijan, and imports from this region rose by
more than half to 2 810 tonnes from 1 790 tonnes in 2002. Uptake from
Azerbaijan has risen four-fold since 1999, when Russia bought just over 700
tonnes from the country.

However, Turkey has steadily increased its supplies to Russia and can be
considered an important secondary source of hazelnuts. Imports of Turkish
hazelnuts rose by 61% in 2003, to 1 670 tonnes from 1 039 tonnes in 2002.

Finally walnuts, which although the smallest category, grew by nearly 70% in
2003 to 1 740 tonnes from 1 030 tonnes in 2002. In 1999 Russia imported
hardly any walnuts, but since then uptake has grown swiftly.

All supplies are sourced from former USSR provinces, with Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan vying for the top slot. At present Tajikistan is the largest supplier,
but to judge from previous years, Uzbekistan could easily re-take the crown.

RUSSIAN EDIBLE NUT IMPORTS (tonnes)
Hazelnuts
              1999         2000          2001         2002          2003
080222
Azerbaijan    705          697           1 612        1 791         2 807
Turkey        1 201        1 229         1 520        1 032         1 667
Georgia       157          818           1 832        1 076         488
Others        68           213           75           90            31
Total         2 131        2 957         5 039        3 989         4 993
Almonds 080212
US            1 010        2 528         4 712        5 072         6 715
Germany       24           43            12           24            70
Netherlands 25             17            162          0             0
Others        49           106           199          346           128
Total         1 108        2 694         5 080        5 442         6 913
Pistachios 080250
Iran          2 118        4 213         4 283        4 933         5 529
Germany       28           40            1            119           114
US            339          19            90           105           29
Others        49           106           199          346           128
Total         2 813        4 954         4 490        5 166         5 692
Coconut 080111
Indonesia     914          1 228         2 250        4 132         4 266
Philippines   308          363           600          2 467         2 681
Netherlands 390            360           182          486           980
Vietnam       0            0       12      102     256
Sri Lanka     124          1 843   2 123   454     234
Others        211          316     205     292     105
Total         1 947        4 110   5 372   7 933   8 522
Walnuts 0801 3200
Tajikistan    15           162     591     552     788
Uzbekistan    18           201     884     394     712
Ukraine       5            68      173     31      131
Kazakhstan    0            1       8       2       44
Others        39           45      28      50      65
Total         77           477     1 684   1 029   1 740
Source:National trade statistics
Food News, 30 de abril de 2004

				
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