Ukraine became the leader among non-EU countries in Eastern Europe in terms of potato prices last week for the first time. It is in Ukraine that you can buy potatoes at the lowest price. This is reported by EastFruit analysts based on the results of weekly monitoring of wholesale prices for vegetables and fruits in nine countries of the region.
According to experts, the average wholesale price for potatoes fell by 17% in a week, while in neighboring Moldova they continued to rise. Thus, prices for potatoes in Ukraine fell below the level in Moldova for the first time in the season. By the way, potatoes in Ukraine are only 15-20% cheaper than last year, however, given rising potato prices in other countries of the region, this is enough to become a price leader.
The decline in the potato price further widened the gap between potato prices in the markets of Belarus and Ukraine. And this has become an even larger stimulus for the growth of exports of Ukrainian potatoes to Belarus. Since the prices for potatoes in Russia were even higher than in Belarus, some of Ukrainian potatoes may also enter the Russian market through the mediation of traders from Belarus this season. According to unofficial statements of Belarusian traders, Russia is afraid of too rapid growth in prices for basic food products, so the re-export of “sanctioned” fruits and vegetables has allegedly become much easier again.
Potatoes in Ukraine can now be bought in bulk 2.5 times cheaper than in the Russian Federation. Since the difference in the purchase price of one batch exceeds $5,000, re-export business becomes very attractive. In addition to Belarus and the Russian Federation, Ukraine is currently exporting potatoes to Serbia and Georgia, traders say.
One should not forget that potato prices in Poland are even lower than in Ukraine. At the same time, they are almost twice higher than last year given a decrease in the yield. Potato growers hope that the recovery in demand from the HoReCa segment will increase prices even more in the future. Nevertheless, it is now profitable for Belarus to buy potatoes in Poland for re-exports to Russia and for its own needs.
The main reason for the decline in the potato price in Ukraine is the sale of leftovers not suitable for storag. Therefore, it is possible that prices will gradually recover in Ukraine with the onset of frosts and the end of the sales season.
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