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Ukraine’s blueberry exports surpass apples in export value in 2023

EastFruit analysts report that in 2023, Ukraine’s fresh blueberry exports generated a record-breaking $16.5 million USD, surpassing apples in export profitability for the first time. Apple exports yielded $14.1 million USD in the same timeframe. Currently, blueberries rank third in annual revenue within the fruit category, trailing only behind walnuts and frozen berries and fruits.

Moreover, blueberries, together with frozen raspberries, represent the most rapidly expanding segment in Ukraine’s fruit and vegetable export market. These products have seen an impressive 22-28% yearly growth in export revenue.

Read also: Ukraine beats Poland and Morocco on the market of frozen raspberries in Canada

Apples from Ukraine find their way to international markets nearly year-round, unlike blueberries, which do not endure long-term storage and are exported from July to October. This condensed export window accounts for the entire revenue volume, underscoring the blueberry’s allure to investors who are keen on establishing new plantations through grant funding.

Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the FAO’s Investment Department, comments, “Blueberries hold immense potential for increased global consumption. They remain relatively unknown in many countries, yet they often become a staple for those who try them. Their longer shelf life compared to other berries and the availability of varieties suited to diverse climates make them particularly appealing.”

Ukraine’s blueberry export growth coincides with an unprecedented downturn in the global blueberry trade. Market insiders, however, anticipate that blueberry prices will continue to be relatively high in the upcoming season.

Historically, the majority of Ukrainian blueberries have been exported to Poland, which is on the verge of becoming a net blueberry importer. The year 2023 marked the start of Ukraine’s export diversification, with a notable decrease in shipments to Poland and a corresponding surge in exports to the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, and Spain – markets traditionally served by Poland. The increase in Ukrainian blueberry exports to Georgia, a country rapidly expanding its own blueberry trade, has sparked curiosity among market analysts.

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