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Prices for the Ukrainian table grapes are declining: what do growers expect in the current season?

The season of the harvesting and sale of table grapes has started in Ukraine. As EastFruit previously reported, when analyzing the price situation on the Ukrainian table grape market, the price of white varieties literally collapsed compared to the same period in 2020.

Thus, the average wholesale price of white table grapes on the Ukrainian market was $0.94/kg as of the end of last week. In the same period in 2020, Ukrainian winegrowers could sell their products at a price twice as high.

As for the black varieties, the price difference with the last year’s indicators in this segment is smaller – today they are sold at $1.03/kg, while in the same period of 2020 – at $1.08/kg.

To learn more about the expectations of Ukrainian table grape producers in the current season, the prospects for the next year’s harvest, the most popular varieties, as well as why the cooperation of small market players is important read this article by EastFruit.

According to Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko, director of the VINS company producing table grapes (Ukraine, Odessa region), in 2021 Ukrainian winegrowers felt the consequences of the drought of the previous two years. For this reason, last year the planting of the crop for the current year was not successful. “We have some varieties that did not bring any harvest at all after winter this year, because the fruit-bearing shoots of the vine froze. This was observed not only in our farm. Thus, I cannot say that we are getting a large harvest of table grapes this year,” notes Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko.

Most Ukrainian winegrowers do not even reach the break-even point 

According to the director of the VINS company, some growers faced a situation when pollination was not successful enough due to rainy weather and bunches of grapes were not solid and did not look attractive enough. Also, because of rains in the current season, there have been many fungal diseases of grapes.

According to Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko, today the majority of Ukrainian vineyards do not even reach the break-even point, not to mention making a profit. Therefore, the growers are hoping for a more successful next season. “Of course, it is not guaranteed that next year the situation will improve, but by the shoots on the vine, we say that the harvest can be large. However, weather conditions and the market situation can also significantly affect production volumes” the market player notes.

Read also: Grape capital of Eastern Europe – Costesti, Moldova: village of multimillionaires (part 1)

The director of the VINS company emphasizes that the seedless variety Kish-mish is in the greatest demand on the Ukrainian market today, regardless of color and despite the fact that consumers are used to buying white Turkish grapes of this variety. “We are also growing black, and I hope we will bring the pink Kish-mish to the market next year. In addition, Ukrainian consumers often choose large marketable berries with a rich taste, for example, the “Libya” variety. Considering the natural environment of the south of Ukraine – the location of vineyards, temperature, and proximity to the sea – “Libya” has a pink tint in our country” notes Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko.

One of the main problems of Ukrainian winegrowers is the quality of planting material offered by local nurseries.

The VINS company is engaged in the cultivation of table grapes on a total area of ​​12 hectares. It plans to establish a plantation on additional 6 hectares. According to the director, the company is now focused not on processing, but primarily on the fresh market.

Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko considers the quality of planting material offered by local nurseries to be one of the main problems of Ukrainian winegrowers. European seedlings cannot always do well in Ukraine, due to differences in climatic conditions. “Here it is necessary to use the European experience, but adapt it to the needs of Ukrainian winegrowers. Therefore, we started creating our own nursery. For the third year in a row, we have been conducting field selection. We will grow planting material for our needs,” explains the director of the VINS company.

As Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko says, in order for grape business to succeed in Ukraine, the grower should have a good understanding of his sales market, since planting many varieties, while counting on selling the entire harvest on the domestic market, is no longer relevant.

“We need to move towards cooperation. There are great examples. For example, you can see how Turkish winegrowers form large enough batches. In the Moldavian Costesti, growers managed to unite to grow one variety. At the same time, they have become a noticeable player in the domestic market and export to Ukraine and the EU.

It is necessary to understand that operating in the market is always difficult for small producers, therefore they need cooperation” sums up Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko.

Photo from the archive of Tetiana Shmaglyuchenko

EastFruit

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