EF Trade Alerts: a sharp increase in carrot imports and the start of a new tomato crop rotation – results of June 2021 in Serbia

One of the most memorable facts on the Serbian fruit and vegetable market in June this year was a sharp jump in carrot import volumes, as well as an earlier entry into the tomato market of a new turnover, and, accordingly, record export volumes in this segment for June.

Vegetables and potatoes.

The most impressive indicator during the first month of the summer of 2021 on the Serbian market was the rapid increase in imports carrots, which reached a record 300 tons, which was three times higher than the volume of imports in May this year, and almost 10 times higher than the import of carrots in June 2020. Local market operators attributed this fact to unfavorable weather conditions, which negatively affected the harvest of early carrot varieties in local farms, and at the same time, the stocks of root crops in the storage facilities of the 2020 harvest were almost completely depleted.

As a result of such a high import of carrots, the export indicators for this position also decreased, as the demand for carrots in the domestic market of Serbia was high throughout the first month of this summer. According to the results of June 2020, export indicators in the carrot segment decreased significantly both in relation to the previous month and to June 2020, when there were much fewer problems with the harvest of this root crop.

Compared to May 2021, import volumes potatoes in Serbia in June – significantly decreased, and due to the gradual increase in the supply of locally produced potatoes this year, during the first summer month, practically no potatoes were imported from other countries. If in May of this year more than 810 tons of potatoes were imported to the territory of Serbia, over the entire June, just over 250 tons of these products were imported. Last year, the situation on the potato market in Serbia as of the beginning of summer was the opposite, and by the end of June 2020, almost 1,000 tons of a strategically important product were imported into Serbia.

Traditionally, the export of early onions from Serbia begins in June, but it should be noted that this year, although the indicators exceeded the results of 2020, due to quality problems, they were far from the marks of 2018 and 2019, when from 1000 to 1300 tons were exported in the first summer month Luke.

Concerning tomato, then in 2021, a new crop rotation in local farms began earlier than last year, and as a result, according to the results of the first month of this summer, almost 260 tons of tomatoes were exported from Serbia, when a month earlier, not a single delivery. In the first active month of export, Serbian producers managed to send 35% more tomatoes to foreign markets than in the same period of 2020

Export cucumbers from Serbia at the end of June 2021, amounted to a record 3195 tons. A year earlier, during the same period, three times less cucumbers were exported, and in relation to the previous month, exports jumped dozens of times. Local operators attributed this fact to the entry of a new crop rotation of greenhouse vegetables into an active phase.

Accordingly, the import of cucumbers to Serbia at the end of June of this year decreased by 85% compared to the previous month, and due to the high harvest this year, the import indicators of these products decreased by almost 30% in relation to 2020.

Melons and berries.

As the demand for the new harvest melons and gourds grew, in June 2021, Serbian importers increased the supply of melons and gourds to their country. At the same time, as noted by EastFruit experts, the volume of imports watermelons and melons for the first month of summer 2021, not only significantly exceeded the indicators of the previous month, when Serbian buyers were just starting to activate in terms of purchases of melons of the new crop, but also significantly exceeded the indicators of the volumes of supplies of watermelons and melons in June, at least for the last three seasons.

As a result, by the end of the first summer month of this year, more than 16.5 thousand tons of watermelons and more than 1.1 thousand tons were imported to the territory of Serbia.

Import strawberries garden to Serbia at the end of June 2021 collapsed in comparison with the previous month, and less significantly it decreased compared to the previous year. Thus, with an indicator of 53 tons, the import of this berry to Serbia for the entire first summer month became the smallest in the last three years. Market participants explained such a decrease in dependence on imported products by the promontory access to the domestic market of large quantities of strawberries from local farms.

For the fourth year in a row, Serbian operators continue to increase their export volumes blueberry in the month of June. And this year was no exception, and according to the results of the first month of this summer, 1,675 tons of blueberries were exported, which is almost 10% more than in the previous year, almost twice more than a year earlier, and more than three times more than in June In 2018, just over 500 tons of blueberries were exported. All these facts indicate that along with the expansion of production areas for blueberries in Serbia, local exporters also pay great attention to trade issues in this market segment.

Fruits and nuts.

Interest in procurement apples By the end of spring of this year, it began to decline gradually by wholesale buyers in Serbia, and the main reason for this was the appearance on the domestic market of new bulk consignments of berries and stone fruits of a new crop from local farms. At the same time, Serbian importers decided not to take risks, relying on the data of the previous season, and already by the results of June 2021, they reduced the volume of imported apples by almost half, compared to the previous month. Similarly, the volume of imported apples was reduced by almost 2 times compared to June 2020, when there were serious interruptions in the supply of berries and fruits of the new harvest in Serbia.

As a result of the seasonal factor, according to the results of June of this year, there was a significant decrease in the import of hazelnuts to Serbia, and, as noted by local market operators, the import of these products fell rapidly both in relation to the previous month and last year. According to the results of June 2021, slightly more than 10 tons of hazelnuts were imported into Serbia, which is almost 5 times less than in the previous month and last year.