According to information communicated by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan, the production of vegetables and potatoes increased in the country in 2021. However, prices remain high. EastFruit figured out the reasons.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Tajikistan harvested 144 thousand tonnes more potatoes and more than 100 thousand tonnes more vegetables in 2021. Unfortunately, there is no breakdown by how much the production of each type of vegetables has grown, and this includes tubers, cabbage, and even tomatoes and cucumbers.
Now let’s see what the market thinks about production growth.
Potato prices in Tajikistan are currently at a record level for this period in recent years and continue to rise. Wholesale potatoes are now sold at 4.2 TJS per kg ($0.37 per kg), which is 1.5 times higher than at the same time in 2020 and 2.2 times higher than in 2019.
What is the reason for such a rapid rise in prices for potatoes in Tajikistan, if their production has increased? Recently, there were reports of increased demand for Tajik potatoes from Uzbekistan, where prices were at record highs. Therefore, the price rise may be partly due to the growth of exports, as potato prices in Uzbekistan have decreased this week, while in Tajikistan they have risen again. However, prices have been high for quite some time, and the official data on growth in potato production may be somewhat overestimated.
As of November 11, 2021, onion prices in Tajikistan in the wholesale trade are 1.6 TJS and are at the same level as on the same date in 2020. However, this price level is 1.5 times higher than in 2018-2019.
So far, no information has been received on the growth of onion exports from Tajikistan. Prices for Tajik onions are currently at about the same level as in Uzbekistan and have a slight upward trend. Uzbekistan already supplies onions to Ukraine, but Tajikistan cannot do this yet, as logistics are more expensive from Tajikistan. Thus, it is most likely that onion production, at least, did not decrease compared to 2020.
Prices for carrots in Tajikistan are 30% higher than last year, but in 2018 they were higher than now. However, if production rose, prices should have been lower, provided there was no surge in domestic demand or exports.
However, prices in Tajikistan are much lower than in Uzbekistan – the difference is more than twofold. Moreover, both in Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan there is a tendency to reduce the price of carrots now. But in Russia and Belarus, prices are high and there are prospects for their growth. Therefore, it is possible that these countries will become importers of carrots from Central Asia.
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