HomeNewsGeorgia Exports cherries by air to Qatar for Lulu Supermarkets

Georgia Exports cherries by air to Qatar for Lulu Supermarkets

The Georgian team of EastFruit from the very beginning of the cherry season in Georgia, in May, reported that farmers had negative expectations regarding the harvest due to bad weather conditions in the spring. EastFruit price monitoring in May confirmed farmers’ expectations: prices were higher than usual.

Despite this, in May, Georgian cherries began to be actively exported, because Uzbekistan, for example, had even more serious problems with the cherry harvest, and prices there remained extremely high. The official data of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia showed that in May 2021 Georgia exported 9.9 tons of cherries – it would seem a little, but such an early start against the background of high prices is very indicative, because usually Georgian cherries are exported only in June-July.

And although Russia remained the main importer of Georgian cherries in May, 1.4 tons managed to reach, or rather “fly” to Qatar. According to market participants, the supply of cherries to the Qatari market is significantly favorable in price, despite higher transport costs, increased requirements for packaging and product quality and incomparably lower volumes due to the possibility of loading aircraft.

Agrostor is one of those Georgian companies whose products are sold in Qatar, in the LuLu hypermarket chain. Agrostor sells raspberries, apricots and cherries to a trader who later exports the fruit by air to Qatar. Of the listed products, Agrostor produces only raspberries, but it buys apricots and cherries from local gardeners and professionally prepares these fruits for export, carrying out their calibration, sorting and packaging.

This season, Agrostor has already prepared 3.5 tons of cherries for export to Qatar. According to company spokesman Zurab Alavidze, 2020 was unsuccessful year for fruit exports to Qatar due to the cancellation of most flights, but this year started off positively. Alavidze expects that this season the exports of fruits from Georgia to Qatar will be regular.

“I think that two flights a week is quite realistic. This is if we continue to supply fruit only to the LuLu supermarket chain. If we manage to find other partners, then we will be able to export up to one and a half tons of fruit daily by air,” said Alavidze.

May is only the beginning of the season. Significantly more Georgian cherries will be exported in June and July 2021. As usual, as prices fall, more and more traders start buying cherries. According to EastFruit monitoring, prices for cherries over 26mm in size plummeted in the first week of June, from 12 GEL / kg ($ 3.55) to 6 GEL / kg ($ 1.9). This week, prices for Georgian cherries fell even lower – to $ 1.5-1.6 per kg and only slightly higher than prices for selected large size cherries in Uzbekistan.

According to EastFruit, 2020 was an outstanding year for the exports of cherries from Georgia. Then 504 tons of fresh cherries were exported, the highest figure in the last six years. Compared to 2019, the export of cherries in 2020 has almost tripled! It is possible that this year we will see further achievements, if not in export volumes, then in the market diversification of cherry supplies from Georgia.



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