According to EastFruit analysts, Uzbekistan exported a record volume of table grapes to the Russian market in 2021, which allowed it to strengthen its position there. However, this achievement had a bitter aftertaste of record low export prices for table grapes. We will discuss this in more detail below.
Uzbekistan exported 106 000 tonnes of table grapes to Russia in 2021 – by 66% or 42 100 tonnes more than a year earlier. The volume of table grape exports from Uzbekistan has increased by 4.3 times over the past 5 years.
According to the average annual growth rate of table grape exports to the Russian market, Uzbekistan was a leader among the Top-5 suppliers. Iran and Tajikistan that increased exports faster were in the Top-10, but their export volumes have so far been much lower than those of Uzbekistan. Besides, supplies from Turkey, which remained the leader, grew only slightly less rapidly than exports from Uzbekistan. Egypt also stood out among the leaders with a high rate of increasing exports to Russia.
The only country among the leaders that reduced the volume of table grape exports to Russia is Moldova. On average, Moldova has reduced table grape exports by 4% or 1 400 tonnes annually over the past 5 years. The Top-10 leaders in the supply of table grapes to Russia in 2021 were Turkey, Uzbekistan, Moldova, India, Egypt, Iran, Chile, Peru, Tajikistan and South Africa.
Now let’s get back to the prices for Uzbek table grapes. As we have repeatedly written, grape prices in Uzbekistan fell to record lows during the active export season, and Russian markets were oversaturated with cheap table grapes from Uzbekistan. This leads to a decrease in the income of producers, and we wrote about the reasons in the article “Ranking of leading table grapes varieties in Uzbekistan gives no hope for export expansion”. At the same time, our experts report that the active expansion of vineyard areas in the country continues, and old and well-known varieties are planted, as usual.
If Uzbekistan does not update the varietal composition of table grapes, increase efforts to improve the quality and create an infrastructure for storing table grapes, then, unfortunately, table grape prices may further fall.
Notably, Uzbekistan, a regional leader in terms of table grape exports, is also a leader in terms of retail prices for table grapes in winter. It means Uzbek consumers have to pay a very high price for grapes in winter, as the technologies for growing and storing are not developed enough to provide consumers with table grapes in their off-season.
Thus, there are still many free niches in the Uzbek table grape market and there are excellent opportunities for increasing income.
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