According to EastFruit analysts, the situation on the strawberry market in Eastern Europe is non-standard in 2023. Cold and mostly cloudy weather in Ukraine leads to a delay in the ripening of berries, which affects prices.
As you can see, Ukraine remains the leader in terms of strawberry prices in the region. Moreover, in the recent two weeks prices have been growing fast, which is a very unusual development for early May. At the moment, wholesale prices for strawberries in Ukraine already exceed $5.2 per kg, which constrains the demand for berries.
Both in hryvnia equivalent and in US dollars prices for strawberries in Ukraine are now record high. On the one hand, this suggests that the supply of berries is somewhat insufficient, but on the other hand, it shows that in Ukraine there is effective demand for early strawberries, even at fairly high prices.
Аnd the second year in a row supply of berries from the southern regions of the Kherson oblast, which used to be the main grower in Ukraine, is absent. This area is still occupied by the Russian terrorist army, and it does have a negative impact strawberry supply. However, in 2022 at this time prices for berries were already rapidly declining, and this year, on the contrary, they are growing.
According to market participants, a delay in berry harvest due to cold and cloudy weather may have a negative impact on the profitability of this business in 2023, since a significant part of the sales season may coincide with the season for selling berries from open field.
Usually, open-field strawberries enter the Ukrainian market in the last ten days of May, and the minimum prices for this berry are reached by June 10-15. Market entry for open field berries may also be delayed this year, but prices are likely to decline more rapidly than usual.
In 2022, wholesale prices for strawberries in Ukraine have never dropped below $1.7 per kg. But in 2019, the wholesale price fell even below $1 US per kg. In general, the average minimum wholesale price for high-quality strawberries over the past 5 years in Ukraine can be considered $1.5 per kg.
It is this price limit that Ukrainian market participants consider to be the minimum possible for 2023, although most of them do hope that prices will not fall below $2 per kg. At the same time, in the last five years there has not been such a season that the wholesale price for strawberries did not fall below $1.8 per kg.
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