The sharp increase in banana consumption in Uzbekistan last year was noted by EastFruit experts as one of the Top-10 fruit and vegetable events of 2021. The upward trend in banana consumption continued in the first two months of 2022, and the growth rate was not lower than in the same period in 2021.
According to EastFruit analysts, Uzbekistan imported 24 700 tonnes of bananas in January-February 2022, which is 2.4 times more than in the same period in 2021. For comparison: in total in 2021, Uzbekistan imported 89 400 tonnes of bananas, which is also 2.4 times more than in 2020.
Moreover, the volume of banana imports to Uzbekistan in January-February has been growing for at least the third year in a row.
Noteworthy, banana imports in two months of 2022 in physical terms exceeded total imports in 2018 (23 600 tonnes) by almost 5% and exceed total volume in 2017 by 40% (17 500 tonnes).
One of the factors in the growth of banana consumption in Uzbekistan was the zeroing of customs duties on banana imports. In October 2021, the country’s government decided to stimulate the import of a number of fruits by exempting their import from paying import duties. Banana was also included in the list of such fruits. As a result, banana prices in the last months of 2021 were much lower than last year. This ratio remained in the first two months of 2022.
In January-February 2022, the average wholesale banana prices were on average 20% lower than in the same period in 2021. As of March 4, 2022, the average wholesale price in Uzbekistan was 15 000 UZS/kg ($1.38), which is 23% lower than on the same date in 2021.
The government’s decision to zero import customs duties served as an additional incentive for the growth of banana consumption in Uzbekistan in the last months of 2021 and January-February 2022, since import statistics showed a solid increase in the volume of banana imports to Uzbekistan even before October 2021. In January-October 2021, Uzbekistan imported 60% more bananas than in total in 2020 and 37% more than in total in 2019. EastFruit analysts identified three reasons for the considerable increase in banana consumption in Uzbekistan in 2021.
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