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Wild blueberries: why are prices declining while yields are low?

According to EastFruit, rapid decline is observed on the European market of frozen wild blueberries (bilberries). Piece decline came as a surprise for many freezers, as earlier there were many reports about the expectation of a low harvest in Ukraine, Poland, and other countries of the region in 2023.

This causes serious concern among the processors, because until recently, it was the export of frozen wild blueberries that brought the largest amount of export earnings in the fruit and vegetable export segment to Ukraine. By the way, Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of this berry and for many freezers wild blueberries are more important than raspberries.

Therefore, in addition to the shocking situation in the market of frozen and fresh raspberries, there serious problems emerge for the second largest export product of Ukrainian freezers. At the moment, in the EU, the purchase prices for frozen wild blueberries have fallen to 1.9-2.0 euros for the first class quality category and to 1.4 euros for the second class.

Traditionally, the fall in prices for this berry is blamed on Ukrainian freezers, who allegedly entered the new season with large unsold stocks and decided to sell it at an extremely low price in order to provide themselves with working capital for the purchase of the new crop and make room for it in the storage. In addition to Ukraine, operators of the berry market in Poland also report significant stocks of frozen wiled blueberries.

Read also: Prices for raspberries in Ukraine continue declining while freezing volumes raise considerably

Presently all the price trends in the segment of frozen berries are negative. Therefore, a very unusual situation may arise, when almost all main frozen berries will be sold at approximately the same prices. This is bad news for exporters of frozen blackcurrants, because the food industry is likely to give preference to raspberries and wild blueberries over blackcurrants if prices are similar.

By the way, in 2023 another important segment may appear in Ukraine’s frozen fruit segment – frozen cultivated blueberries. Ukraine can export frozen blueberries even to China, although it cannot supply fresh berries there. However, for profitable freezing of blueberries, domestic prices for them should fall to such a level as, for example, in Peru. Market participants believe that this year such a development of events is quite possible.

In the meantime, it remains to be hoped that low prices for all types of frozen berries and fruits will again attract the attention of consumers and demand will begin to recover.

EastFruit

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