EastFruit analysts repeatedly drew attention to the difficult situation in the cherry market in 2021, when prices for local products fell to record lows, but there was still no demand for them. Growers from Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, were forced to discard some of their cherries because they could not sell them at any price.
The most surprising thing is that Ukraine imported a record volume of cherries in 2021, when the surplus of local cherries on the market was maximum, and the price, on the contrary, was minimal. The volume of fresh cherry imports to Ukraine reached 2 thousand tonnes – 83% more than in 2020.
Cherry exports from Ukraine also dropped sharply, despite low prices in Ukraine, and high prices for cherries in the EU markets. Ukrainian exporters managed to export only 466 tonnes of cherries during the season. This is a record low export volume of cherries from Ukraine in many years.
“Requirements of consumers, including Ukrainian ones regarding the quality of cherries are constantly growing. They are interested in more modern large-caliber varieties. At the same time, technologies for growing cherries in Ukraine remained mainly traditional and outdated for the modern market. A couple of years ago it was possible to find buyers for such cherries in Ukraine and in Belarus, but both in our market and in the markets of Belarus and Russia, many imported cherries of higher quality are available for which Ukrainian consumers are ready to pay more”, – explains Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
“A similar situation has developed in Uzbekistan that became the main supplier of cherries to the Ukrainian market this year for the first time. The production of cherries is growing there, but their exports to countries with high prices and high demands remain insignificant. Therefore, Uzbek farmers have to reduce the prices in order to sell their cherries, although global prices for high-quality cherries continue to grow,” the FAO expert says.
Uzbekistan exported 745 tonnes of cherries to Ukraine in 2021, which is 12 times more than last year. Moldova more than doubled the supply of fresh cherries to Ukraine, exporting 431 tonnes in 2021. Greece exported almost the same volume of cherries to Ukraine as Moldova did, and the volume of its exports did not change over the year, as prices in the EU were higher. The export of cherries to Ukraine and Iran continues to increase, but so far less than 100 tonnes of fresh cherries have been delivered from Greece during the season.
On December 3, 2021, Andriy Yarmak will talk about changes in strategies and approaches to the fruit business that Ukrainian farmers urgently need, as well as global innovations in fruit technologies and marketing that will change the fruit and vegetable business, during the 17th international conference “Vegetables and fruits of Ukraine-2021. New investment opportunities”. On December 2, two more unique events will also be held there: the Retail Forum and Trade Forum. You will have an opportunity to conclude contracts for the supply of products with supermarket chains, and receive exclusive information on the trade volume of vegetables and fruits in supermarket chains in Ukraine. You will also get acquainted with the ratings of retail chains from the point of view of suppliers. Register to participate via this link not to miss the event.
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