Armenia’s exports of fresh fruits and vegetables have doubled so far this year, with Russia remaining their principal destination, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.
Figures released by the ministry show that they totaled almost 67,300 metric tons as of June 15, compared with 33,820 in the same period of 2017.
The National Statistical Service (NSS) reported earlier that Armenian agricultural exports more than doubled in monetary terms in the first four months of 2018. They fell by as much as 30 percent in 2017, to $71 million, due to poor harvests.
Weather conditions have been more favorable this year. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Armenia has exported 14,752 tons of apricots since the beginning of this year, sharply up from just 26 tons in the year-earlier period.
The ministry figures also show that over 95 percent of the 2018 agricultural exports went to Russia. Armenian exporters enjoy tariff-free access to the Russia because of their country’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
Russian President Vladimir Putin noted rising Armenian exports to Russia when he met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in the Kremlin on Wednesday. Putin attributed that to Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led trade bloc.
Pashinian described his trip to Moscow as “productive” on Friday. “The government and its bodies must work hard so that we fully realize the potential for [greater] fruit and vegetable exports because the Russian market needs that,” he told a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.