HomeNewsWhen will Uzbekistan supply the region with cabbage of new harvest and how much will it cost?

When will Uzbekistan supply the region with cabbage of new harvest and how much will it cost?

Incredibly high prices for cabbage in almost all countries of the region in recent months have been the subject of close attention of EastFruit analysts. However, market participants have had some hope for stabilization and even decrease of cabbage prices recently after a reported sharp increase in the area of early cabbage plantations in Uzbekistan and other countries of the region.

When will Uzbek cabbage become available on the regional market, and when will it reach Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe? What will be the price of this cabbage? The EastFruit team in Uzbekistan analyzed the situation, and here is what we found out.

In the southernmost region of Uzbekistan – Surkhandarya region, white cabbage began to be harvested around mid-December and the harvesting continues now. However, this cabbage was sown in September, when no one expected such a rapid rise in prices, so the farmers left the area planted with it without any changes. Vegetable growers are very pleased – the demand for cabbage is just “crazy”. It is shipped from the fields at 4 000 UZS/kg ($0.37), which is about 9 times higher compared to the same period in 2021. For comparison, shipping prices for white cabbage in January-February 2021 did not exceed 400-500 UZS/kg ($0.04-0.05).

According to exporters, Uzbek cabbage is shipped mainly to Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, but they cannot fully satisfy demand, which leads to further price increases. According to market participants, the highest demand for cabbage is observed in Belarus.

At the same time, the planting of early cabbage is now in full swing, the harvest of which will start in the first half of March, provided there are no weather anomalies. The situation is completely different here. Almost all farmers confirm that the area planted with early cabbage has been dramatically expanded. Seed suppliers believe acreage could increase exponentially given record seed sales and shortages. But no one undertakes to forecast whether prices for cabbage in Uzbekistan itself will decrease.

On the one hand, the unprecedented growth in the production of early cabbage will lead to a sharp increase in supply. On the other hand, demand is now unusually high, and if we assume that stocks are even more depleted before the start of harvesting, then prices may also rise. It is important to take into account that Belarus recently decided to isolate itself from the EU market, and Russia did this many years ago, but still imported products from the EU through Belarus. However, the main channel for the supply of products from the EU to Russia is now closed, so Russia and Belarus have almost no other options for replenishing cabbage stocks, except for purchasing in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran and other distant countries. In this situation, Ukrainian farmers and traders will also prefer to export cabbage to the Belarusian market, which will also help maintain a high price level in the domestic market of the country.

In any case, the main conclusion is that farmers and other participants in the vegetable market of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, who have stocks of high-quality cabbage, may well have two more months of excess demand over supply. Some speculate that even wholesale prices for cabbage in Russia and Belarus could reach incredible levels of $1/kg.

We remind you that the early cabbage export season was also successful for Uzbek producers in 2021. Due to the cold spring of 2021 in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, the start of early cabbage harvesting in these countries has shifted by an average of two weeks. Therefore, Uzbek exporters have two additional weeks to export. As a result, from March to May 2021, the export of white cabbage from Uzbekistan amounted to 67 500 tonnes worth $10.2 million, which is 30% more in physical terms than in the same period in 2020.

Last week, EastFruit wrote about record export volumes of the main types of cabbage from Uzbekistan in January 2022. Compared to the same month in 2021, the volume of exports of cabbage increased by 2 times, cauliflower and broccoli – by almost 3 times, and Chinese cabbage – by almost 16 times!


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