India eyes banana market opportunity in Russia — RT India

India eyes banana market opportunity in Russia — RT India

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New Delhi is aiming to boost fruit exports to reduce its trade deficit with Moscow

India has delivered 20 metric tons of bananas to Russia, eyeing an opportunity to establish a foothold in a market previously dominated by Ecuador. Moscow is diversifying fruit imports amid restrictions on Ecuadorian deliveries after a dangerous pest was found in a consignment.

A shipment of 1,540 boxes of bananas was cleared for delivery to Russia by India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), New Delhi announced on Sunday. The fruit was grown in Andhra Pradesh before being shipped from Mumbai to the Russian port of Novorossiysk. A deal was struck after Russia showed additional interest in imports of tropical Indian fruit, officials noted. India is the world’s largest producer of bananas, with an annual output of 30 million metric tons (MT).

Russia previously imported most of its bananas from Ecuador. Earlier this month, however, Moscow partially banned supplies from the South American nation after discovering the polyphagous humpback fly, a carrier of cholera and the bee plague, in some shipments. The ban was lifted on Friday, Russian food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announced.

Notably, the ban followed Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa’s announcement to swap outdated Russian and Ukrainian military equipment for new US-made hardware. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that such a move would breach agreements that bar Ecuador from transferring Russian equipment without Moscow’s consent.

Meanwhile, New Delhi is increasing fruit exports to Russia to reduce its large trade deficit with Moscow. Bilateral transactions between the two countries reached $50 billion last year and could cross the $65 billion mark in 2024, Ajay Sahai, the head of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), told RT earlier this month.

Indian exporters see ‘tremendous’ potential in Russia – industry chief

Last year, India exported $4 billion worth of goods to Russia, largely driven by engineering products, which nearly doubled to $1.32 billion from $680 million in 2022. In addition to crude oil and coal, bilateral trade has also seen growth in new areas such as iron, machinery, electronics, chemicals, ceramics, and agriculture.

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