Russian exports of chocolate surged nearly 20% in the beginning of 2021, setting the country on course to beat the world’s favored chocolate maker Switzerland by the year’s end.
“Russian exports of chocolate and chocolate goods increased by 18.6% by the end of Q1 2021 in volume terms and by 11.8% in value terms year-on-year.
“Considering the current dynamics experts project that Russian producers will surpass Swiss [producers] in terms of chocolate and chocolate goods exports by the end of 2021,” the Askond Association of Confectionery Manufacturers said in a statement issued on Wednesday. The firm warned, however, that in order to maintain the steady increase in chocolate deliveries abroad, manufacturers need broader state support.
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“Many countries protect their domestic markets, creating difficulties for foreign manufacturers of confectionery products. Therefore, the further growth of interest in Russian chocolate will be difficult to ensure and support only by the forces of the industry. [Therefore] it is necessary to combine efforts of producers and targeted state support,” Vyacheslav Lashmankin, executive director of Askond, said.
According to data from the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Map and trade statistics platform UN Comtrade, Russia was 11th in the global rating of exporters of chocolate products in 2020. Its exports amounted to $729.2 million, reaching 295,700 tons, while Switzerland was 10th, with 109,800 tons worth $753 million.
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On the domestic front, earlier this year, Russian antimonopoly watchdog FAS launched a case against Swiss chocolate producers Henkel, Lindt, and Procter & Gamble, claiming that the products they deliver to the Russian market are of lower quality than those sold in western Europe. However, it was later reported that FAS didn’t find any violations in the quality of Lindt products, and that while differences in quality exist, they appear to be due to the seasonal characteristics of natural raw materials, milk, and cocoa beans.
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