In season 2019/20 years, Ukraine continues to import a lot of Apple – much more than in the previous two seasons.
EastFruit analysts say that the import of apples during the first half of the season (Aug 2019 – Jan 2020) reached 7.1 thousand tons and was 7 times higher than in the same period of the previous season. Also, the volume of imports outpaced the growth of the 2018/19 season five times.
For the first six months of the current season the export of Ukrainian apples were a little less than 14 thousand tons, while a year earlier by the end of January was already exported more than 25.6 thousand tons of apples. And even in not the most productive season 2017/18 years when the crop of apples in Ukraine suffered from spring frosts, by the end of January was already exported 21.6 thousand tons of apples of the new harvest.
“High domestic prices for apples in Ukraine in the current season to stimulate their imports. The bulk of apples for the fresh market are imported from Poland, although the market has already started to arrive and the first batch of Apple premium quality from Italy, sold in the high price segment. Naturally, in such a situation it is very difficult to export apples, as Poland and even Moldova was more competitive in price to Apple than Ukraine”, — said Andriy Yarmak, economist, investment Department Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO).
From the beginning of 2020, the majority of Apple varieties on the Ukrainian market increased by 10-20%. The trend of rising prices continued last week.
It is worth noting that the export of apples to the previous season intensified in January – March, however this year volumes of export of these fruits from Ukraine was lower than in December. However, fruit importers say the future growth of average prices for apples in the markets of UAE, Saudi Aria and Asia (Signapur, Malaysia and others) in connection with the decline in supply of cheap apples from China. Because of the danger of coronavirus, many countries imposed an embargo on the supply of products from China, which could not affect prices.
In addition, consumers in these countries generally respond well to Ukrainian products for its qualitative parameters. At the end of 2019 Ukraine started actively exporting apples to UAE, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and even Bangladesh. Therefore, it is possible that the export of Ukrainian apples in February-March will rise again.
“Last year, cold spring has played into the hands of Apple suppliers throughout Europe, as the EU markets in April and may there was almost no strawberries and cherries, and consumption of Apple has increased significantly. In Ukraine, the cold spring has also helped to prolong the sales season is Apple, which, combined with the growing demand in the EU, helped greatly to raise prices in may-June of 2019”, — says Andrew Yarmak.
Many Ukrainian growers are counting on the same scenario for the market in 2020, however, to ensure that it is impossible as to eliminate completely. Still, weather conditions in spring 2019 can be considered rather abnormal than normal.