In 2015, Moscow imported Egyptian fruit and vegetables worth around $350 million. Russia has a history of limiting imports in trade disputes, but has said officially that the fruit and vegetable ban was due to “insufficient Egyptian phytosanitary controls”.
“Egyptian agricultural exports are a cornerstone of Egypt’s foreign trade,” Egypt’s agriculture ministry said. “Regulatory authorities are taking all measures to guarantee the safety of Egyptian production.”
Cairo’s state grain buyer GASC imported 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat one day after the ergot reversal, its first successful tender purchase after three consecutive cancellations.
A source at Rosselkhoznadzor (the Russian Food Safety Authority) said that the watchdog would not be in a hurry to lift the ban on fruit and vegetable imports if Cairo did not approve the delayed Russian wheat export in coming days.