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Ukrainian apples are trending in Sub-Saharan Africa

According to EastFruit analysts, Ukraine is starting to find export opportunities in the growing fresh apple market of Sub-Saharan Africa, which we have written about many times. For instance, Artem Gudkov, co-founder of Global Ukrainian Distribution, Investment and Trading Company Limited (GUDIT), gave interesting examples of apple exports to Africa in an extensive interview with EastFruit.

“In the 2020/21 season, Ukraine increased its apple exports to Sub-Saharan Africa six times and the export volume amounted to record 630 tonnes. Although this is less than 4% of total apple exports, the trend is good news. It should also be noted that Ukrainian apples were supplied to only two countries of this region in the 2020/21 season, but last season the export geography included nine countries. This means that apples from Ukraine are becoming increasingly popular in the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. There is an emerging trend for apples from Ukraine among fruit importers in Africa, and their level of interest is growing. Our colleagues from the Ukrainian Horticultural Association confirm that there are more and more requests for the supply of apples from the countries of this region,” says Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

By the way, Ukraine already exported apples to two African countries in the first export month of the 2021/22 season. Before that, the exports of apples to Africa had never started in September. On the other hand, interest in exporting apples to Africa from Ukraine may significantly decrease after sharply increased purchases of Ukrainian apples by Belarus due to the imposition of an embargo on food imports from the EU.

“A significant advantage of apple exports to Sub-Saharan Africa is the relatively high price. Moreover, suppliers mainly receive prepayment from African importers, which also reduces the risks. At the same time, Ukrainian exporters need to take into account the rather long delivery time of apples, which often exceeds 40 days at sea, and ensure its safety. For this, apples must initially be of perfect quality. They must also be quite hard and processed with ethylene inhibitor, as apples will be sold to end consumers in Africa in a very hot climate without refrigeration. This means that apples should retain properties as long as possible,” Andriy Yarmak explains.

In the new season, Kenya has already joined the importers of Ukrainian apples in Sub-Saharan Africa. In previous seasons, the key African importers of Ukrainian apples were Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Maldives, Sudan, Djibouti, Gambia and Somalia.

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