Since the beginning of this week, Ukrainian producers from the southern regions have started selling strawberries from open fields, according to analysts of the EastFruit project. At the same time, according to the data of regular price monitoring, the harvesting season for open field strawberries in the western and central regions of the country is significantly delayed due to the rather cold first half of spring. In 2020, the first strawberries from open fields arrived on the market at least 10 days earlier than this season – from May 7 to 10.
At the same time, many producers see a positive part in this, since strawberries in different regions of the country will not be harvested simultaneously, and, accordingly, their balanced supply on the market will allow producers to keep the prices at a higher level for a longer period.
As farmers note, the flowering of strawberries in the current season began later, since there was no spring weather in Ukraine until the second half of April. In the first ten days of May, along with an increase in temperature throughout the country, cloudy days with thunderstorm rains and sharp drops of temperature were recorded, especially at night. All these factors are currently slowing down the ripening of strawberries and only the producers in the southern regions of Ukraine have started harvesting.
All these factors have led to the fact that today the first batches of strawberries from open field are sold at 70-130 UAH/kg ($ 2.54-4.72/kg), which is 1.5 times more expensive than in the same period last year.
Moreover, the prices of strawberries from greenhouses today are comparable with the ones from open fields and wholesale batches of strawberries from greenhouses go on the market in the range of 120-140 UAH/kg ($ 4.39-5.12/kg). According to the forecasts of EastFruit experts, prices for greenhouse berries will continue to fall, while more strawberries from open fields arrive on the market.
But how long will prices for first strawberries of the season surpass those of previous seasons? Market experts and producers do not exclude a decrease in prices in this segment in the near future, provided that the weather in the main regions of its production is warm and sunny, which will further contribute to a gradual increase in the supply of strawberries from open fields on the market.
“According to our forecasts, despite later start of the first harvest of strawberries from the open field, the peak of the harvesting season will in any case be in mid-June, as usual. Given there was no negative impact of night frosts in May 2021 on plants, the supply of strawberries on the market will several times exceed last year’s indicators, respectively, wholesale prices for strawberries may well become more affordable than in the previous season, at least twice,”- Olexandr Khorev, head of the APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits project, comments on the market developments.
The next large-scale offline conference FTrade Club Berries , which will be held in Brovary on May 27-28, 2021, will be devoted to prospects of the market for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and other berry crops in the current season. You can join the leading players of the berry business in Ukraine until May 24 by filling out the registration form for participation.
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