First quarter Russian gas exports to Turkey shrank by 18 percent year on year, which apparently prompted Ankara’s desire to move ahead with the construction of the first leg of the Turkish Stream pipeline.
Due to the sanctions imposed by Russia, Turkish exports to the country during the same period were 44.2 percent down from the 2015 figure, compared with a 40.4 percent drop in Russian exports to Turkey.
Despite such a serious drop Turkey still remains one of Russia's top ten trade partners after China, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the US.
Grain went to Egypt
Russia’s grain exports to Turkey also nosedived, mainly due to the 2015 bumper crop in Turkey, which allowed Ankara to cut its imports of Russian grain by a hefty 44 percent. As a result, Egypt emerged as the number one buyer of Russian grain (more than 4.6 million tons worth over $862.4 million.)
Experts are optimistic about the prospects of Russian grain exports to Turkey. According to June figures released by electronic exchange Agro2b,
Turkey has virtually caught up with Egypt in the volume of grain imported from Russia’s southern seaports (103,100 and 113,700 tons correspondingly.)
Fruit and vegetable lobby
As for Turkish agricultural exports to Russia, here Ankara clearly found itself at the losing end with “sanctioned” produce accounting for $1 billion of the total of $1.3 billion.
According to Russian statistics, Turkish vegetable exports to Russia were hit the hardest by sanctions with the January-May sale of tomatoes contracting by 32.1 percent, potatoes by 57.8 percent, onions by 49.5 percent and cucumbers by 31 percent.
This is why Ankara has been trying hard to have the sanctions lifted ever since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the November 2015 downing of the Russian bomber in Syria.
A final decision to this effect is expected during President Erdogan’s August 9 meeting with President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.