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Egypt’s dependence on fruit, vegetable and potato exports to Russia keeps growing

According to EastFruit analysts, Russia remained the main market for fruits, vegetables, and potatoes exported from Egypt in the first three quarters of 2022. Both the volume of supplies and the share of Russia in exports rose to record levels.

The share of the Russian market in the supply of fruits and vegetables from Egypt in January-September 2022 exceeded a third of all exports and reached 34% for the first time. The proceeds from the exports of vegetables, fruits, and potatoes from Egypt to Russia during this period amounted to $405 million, an increase of 28% compared to the previous season. All of these were record-breaking for Egypt.

Given the continuing decline in the purchasing power of Russians, the rapid decrease in the number of residents of the country, the devaluation of the national currency, the general economic and political instability, the numerous international sanctions imposed against Russia, and the failures in the war against Ukraine, the growing dependence on the exports of Egyptian fruits and vegetables to Russia dramatically increases the risks for the Egyptian horticulture business in the short to medium term.

Egyptian suppliers’ revenue from the exports of potatoes in 2022 grew the most sharply – by 60%, or by almost $52 million, and amounted to $138 million. Revenues from exports of frozen fruits and berries grew by 7% to $24 million, frozen vegetables – by 73% to $20 million and onions – by 18% to $14 million. In addition, among the large export commodities were mango, carrot, fresh strawberry, cauliflower and broccoli, lemons, and peaches.

Noteworthy, Saudi Arabia remained the second most important sales market for Egyptian fruits and vegetables in the first 9 months of 2022. The volume of exports to Saudi Arabia increased by 35%, and its share in the supply of vegetables, fruits, and potatoes from Egypt was 11%, which corresponds to the average for recent years. Meanwhile, exports of fruits and vegetables from Egypt to the Netherlands and the UK, the next largest markets, fell by 8% and 12%, respectively.

It is obvious that Egypt will have to diversify the exports of vegetables and fruits in 2023 to avoid potential problems with the demand from Russia.

EastFruit

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