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Blueberry bonanza: Ukraine’s inexpensive berries to enrich EU markets

Based on trade platforms monitoring by EastFruit analysts, the blueberry market in Ukraine has entered an active phase. This unusually early start to the season presents both challenges and new opportunities for individual producers and traders, writes EastFruit.

In particular, wholesale prices for blueberries in Ukraine have more than halved over the past week. On the EF Trade Platform, which boasts over 26,000 participants from 50 countries, the Ukrainian segment of fresh blueberries has been the most active. Among the numerous offers, prices most frequently ranged from 120 to 180 UAH/kg ($3-4.5 per kg), depending on the volume and quality of the product.

“In 2023, at this time, the Ukrainian market was just beginning to see the first batches of blueberries from small greenhouses, and there was no wholesale trade of locally produced berries. The market was dominated by imported blueberries priced at 400 UAH/kg and above. Therefore, current blueberry prices are significantly lower than at the same time last year,” explains Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Read also: Higher export share of berries, slowdown in domestic consumption – Ukraine forecast from UHA


He also notes that last season began with similarly unpleasant news for Ukrainian blueberry producers.

“Last season, with the start of blueberry harvesting, prices plummeted to 100-120 UAH/kg, which was a real shock for farmers, as small producers received even less. However, at the end of the season, due to a sharp decline in blueberry production in Peru, prices unexpectedly rose, helping to save the blueberry season for Ukrainian farmers,” explains Andriy Yarmak.

Market participants expect blueberry prices to continue to decline rapidly this week. Considering the devaluation of the Ukrainian currency, this will negatively impact farmers’ incomes but create new incentives for blueberry exports.

Exporters are already planning routes to export blueberries to the EU, bypassing Poland, which creates artificial trade barriers for Ukrainian berries at its borders. Additionally, it is possible that Ukrainian blueberries will once again be supplied to Middle Eastern countries, given the recent resumption and intensification of maritime transport from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.




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