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Uzbekistan: onions have fallen in price by 12.5% over three weeks

Over the past three weeks, the dynamics of wholesale onion prices in Uzbekistan have shown a downward trend, which was facilitated by the active import of onions and a significant increase in air temperature in February. Sharp warming affects onion stocks and forces producers/traders to increase their supply to the domestic market, EastFruit analysts say.

According to EastFruit price monitoring, the average wholesale price for onions in Uzbekistan decreased from 8 000 to 7 000 UZS/kg ($0.70 to $0.62) from February 10 to March 3, 2023, i.e. in three weeks by 12.5%.

As noted above, there are two main factors that contributed to such a smooth decline in wholesale prices for onions over the past three weeks.

First, this is an increase in imports in the second half of January and the first half of February 2023. According to preliminary estimates of EastFruit analysts, from early January to mid-February 2023, Uzbekistan imported about 25 000 tonnes of onions. At the same time, the lion’s share of this volume – about 20 000 tonnes was imported in one month – from mid-January to mid-February of this year, which is a record volume of onion imports for such a short period.

Read also: The collapse of onion prices in Tajikistan continues – will the export ban be lifted?

Secondly, this is a sharp increase in average daily air temperatures in February and early March, which affects the quality of onion stocks stored in improper conditions without cooling and proper thermal insulation. In turn, this, along with a record volume of onion imports, forces producers and traders to quickly sell the available stocks and thereby significantly increase the volume of supply in the domestic market.

On January 20, 2023, it was announced the establishment of a temporary restriction on the export of onions from Uzbekistan until the end of April of this year.

As of March 3, 2023, the average wholesale price for onions in Uzbekistan is 3.5 times higher than on the same date last year. However, the current wholesale prices for onions in Uzbekistan are among the lowest among the countries of the region, where EastFruit monitors wholesale prices for fruits and vegetables weekly. As of March 3, 2023, the average wholesale price for onions in the countries of the region was (per 1 kg): Belarus – $0.54; Uzbekistan – $0.62; Tajikistan – $0.64; Georgia – $0.84; Moldova – $0.85; Poland – $0.91; Ukraine – $1.23.

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