February 05, 2020
Russia may import fruit, vegetable, and seafood products from Turkey or Morocco, replacing imports from China amid coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Wednesday. "Vegetables, fruits and seafood make up the basis of Chinese food exports to Russia [...] At the moment, the falling volumes [of food products] can easily be replaced by supplies from other countries, such as Morocco and Turkey," Dmitry Vostrikov, head of Russia’s Food Products Manufacturers and Suppliers Association, told local TASS news agency.
Many countries have suspended their imports from China following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus that has so far claimed 491 lives. According to Vostrikov, a total of 453,000 tons of vegetables worth $370 million were imported from China in the first 11 months of 2019. "Israel ranks second in this area with 139,000 tons worth $135 million of import. Turkey is in third place with 136,000 tons worth $148 million," he noted. The novel coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, or corona in Latin, has affected over 20,000 people.
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats. The coronavirus has raised alarms worldwide, with cases reported across Asia, Europe, the U.S., and Canada. Beyond China, the virus has spread to over 20 countries, including Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, Nepal, Russia and Canada.