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Belarus has tripled apple imports from Ukraine in an unsuccessful attempt to keep domestic prices down

“Golden Apple” – that’s how you can call Golden Delicious apples on the Belarusian market in February 2022, both literally and figuratively. According to EastFruit analysts, wholesale apple prices in Belarus are now even higher than in Russia, which has usually been the undisputed leader in terms of prices. Also, apple prices in Belarus are now the highest for this period of time in all years.

As you see in the chart above, wholesale prices for Golden Delicious apples in Belarus are currently almost 4 times higher than in Ukraine, twice as high as in Moldova, and 18% higher than in Russia. The situation is similar for other popular varieties. It should also be noted that recently in Belarus there has been a trend of growing demand for green apples, such varieties as “Golden”, “Renet Simirenko” and “Granny Smith”. However, as a rule, they are not grown in Belarus, but imported.

Only Moldova, Ukraine and Turkey remain of the major suppliers where Belarus can buy “Golden” apples. Therefore, it is not surprising that apple imports from Ukraine have increased dramatically, after imports from Poland and other EU countries were banned. Imports of Ukrainian apples in December 2021 to Belarus from Ukraine tripled compared to December 2020 and doubled compared to November. According to preliminary estimates, despite the holidays, imports in January were not lower than December imports.

The upward trend in apple prices continues in Belarus, while prices in Ukraine and Moldova remain stable. At the same time, the maximum selling price for apples in Belarus, set manually by the leadership of Belarus, is 2.51-2.54 BYN/kg ($0.96-0.97) and makes it almost impossible to sell high-quality apples of popular varieties in organized retail.

After the ban on the import of apples and other vegetables and fruits from the EU and other countries globally since January 2022, Belarus faced an acceleration of inflation, especially for food. Fruit and vegetables, in particular, traditional ones that can be grown in the country, have risen in price most sharply. This allowed Ukrainian growers to play into the hands, as due to the absence of apples from Poland, the Netherlands and Italy on the market, local exporters could fill all segments of the Belarusian apple market: both premium and mass, especially the segment of cheap and low-quality apples.

The “premium” and “high average” segments have practically disappeared from Belarusian supermarkets due to the inexpediency of selling products under price control. Thus, even a low-quality apple in Belarus becomes a “golden apple”, and the Belarusian consumer pays for it.

EastFruit

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