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Egyptian oranges stuck in Russian ports after sudden import amendment

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Over 40,000 tons of Egyptian oranges in 150 shipments are currently being held at Russian ports, pending negotiations between the two countries to allow the containers to enter. Although Russian officials claim the shipments do not meet its import specifications, Egyptian exporters laid the blame on Russia for changing its standards without coordinating with the Egyptian side.

The Egyptian oranges were seized over three weeks ago, according to Ahmed al-Bishbishy, the chair of Gouda for Agricultural Products, a major orange exporter. Bishbishy: “But once the shipments arrived at Russian ports, they were stopped from entry, after the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) rejected the shipments, claiming that they did not conform to specifications and contained traces of Imazalil fungicide.”

Last year, Egypt topped the list of orange exporting countries, sending out about 1.67 million tons to markets mostly in Russia, Saudi Arabia and China. Egypt’s place as the orange export king brought it about US$843 million, according to a September report issued by the agriculture export council.


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