Monday, October 2 2023 18:42

Expert on situation in Upper Lars: after brandy, it will be the turn  of wine

Expert on situation in Upper Lars: after brandy, it will be the turn  of wine

ArmInfo. What is happening in Upper Lars, where over 60 trucks of Armenian brandy producers have  accumulated over the course of 3-4 months, is the result of an erroneous policy led by the state over the past 15-20 years. A similar opinion was expressed in a conversation with an ArmInfo correspondent by Avag Harutyunyan, Chairman of Union of Winemakers of Armenia (UWA).

He said that the accumulation of trucks on Upper Lars is due to two  reasons. Firstly, and this is the main one, by tightening the  requirements for the quality of alcoholic products sent to the  Russian market. And secondly, because Armenia is becoming an  unfriendly country for Russia.

Nevertheless, as Harutyunyan noted, the Russian side explains what is  happening with new regulations.  "They take a sample of the product  produced by one or another manufacturer for laboratory testing, the  results of which cannot be disputed. This may take several months,"  he said, noting that the regulatory standards of the EAEU do not have  any significance in this situation.

In the current situation, the head of the Union of Winemakers  considers it right to draw the attention of producers to the quality  of their products. In this case, in his opinion, the state has no  loopholes for intervention. In this regard, Harutyunyan complained  about the wrong policy that the state had been pursuing for many  years. Instead of stimulating high-quality production of alcoholic  beverages, the government constantly makes decisions to subsidize  producers, including the purchase of grapes, which allows these  producers to produce inexpensive, low-quality products, which are  sold on export markets, often at a price below cost.

Referring to available information, Harutyunyan said that the Russian  side will soon apply similar regulations to Armenian wine. He noted  that Armenia is diversifying its wine export markets every year,  reducing the share of the Russian market, but producers first of all  need to think about improving the quality of their products.

According to the data of the RA Customs Service, the main market of  Armenian wine is traditionally the Russian one, the share of which in  2021 was 58.4%. In 2022 the share of exported Armenian wine to the  Russian market increased to 78.8%. 

The United States follows with a large margin: 6.1% (compared to 9.3%  in 2021), Belarus - 1.4%, Israel - 1.2%, France - more than 1%,  Ukraine - 1%, Switzerland: 0.8%.  In 2018-2022, brandy exports from  Armenia increased by 85% - from 29.3 to 54.2 million liters. About  80% is supplied to the Russian market.

ArmInfo's attempts to call the Yerevan Ararat Brandy Factory and the  Vine and Wine Foundation of Armenia for comments were unsuccessful.  The Ministry of Economy asked for time to respond.

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