According to the president of the Ukrainian Horticulture Association (UHA) Taras Bashtannik, Ukraine has already started importing potatoes from Poland since the prices for tubers in this country are lower than in Ukraine. The start of importing potatoes at a time when potato storage facilities are filled with domestic products is a very unpleasant sign. Perhaps Ukrainian farmers will also have to cut prices for their products, which means they will receive less funds for the development of production next year.
“Today, there are a lot of producers who grow potatoes inefficiently. Moreover, for two years now we have been importing products from Russia and Belarus, and this year, at the beginning of summer, we started importing potatoes from the Netherlands, and now imports from Poland have also begun. This is due to the fact that in Poland prices and consumption of potatoes by HoReCa and processing segments fell significantly due to quarantine lockdowns. Accordingly, large volumes of potatoes ‘put pressure’ on prices, which are falling below the cost,” explains Taras Bashtannik, criticizing the statements of the representative of the mono-majority of the Parliament of Ukraine that state support for Ukrainian potato growing is not needed.
By the way, a difficult situation with the sale of potatoes is observed in many other countries of the European Union. Just recently it was reported about unharvested potatoes in Bulgaria.
“Today, the prices for potatoes in Ukraine are twice as high as those in Poland. Moreover, according to my information, in recent days a number of large Ukrainian manufacturers have begun to increase the selling prices for their products. They report that their potato harvest in 2020 was lower than in 2019, so they expect further growth in prices for it. After all, now wholesale prices for potatoes in Ukraine are 40% lower than at the same time last year, which, in the opinion of potato growers, is unfair. Nevertheless, the realities are such that the EU has already harvested several million tons of potatoes more than the region can consume due to a sharp decline in demand from public catering enterprises, therefore, the surplus of production will be given at prices, including in Ukraine. And we will not be able to avoid another round of imports if local producers keep prices at a high level,” explains Andriy Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Weekly reviews of the potato market show that prices for potatoes in Ukraine are already higher than even in Georgia and Moldova. Namely, Moldova has been the main export market for Ukrainian potatoes for several years.
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