Georgia imports more and more onions from Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan – prices fall


Georgia imports more and more onions from Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan – prices fall

01/24/2020

In 2019, in Georgia there was a significant increase in acreage under onions

Despite the fact that many Georgian vegetable growers complain about a decrease in onion crops in 2019 due to adverse weather conditions, EastFruit estimates that onion production could even increase compared to 2018. The main reason, in this case, was not a yield increase, but a significant expansion of acreage under onions in Georgia in 2019, which is confirmed by a lower price level.

In particular, onion prices literally fell off in the third week of January 2020 after it became apparent that the supply of onions exceeded the demand for it. A sharp drop in prices occurred due to the fact that producers tried to sell onion locally produced, which is no longer stored. However, even before the price dropped in mid-January, onion prices were lower than the year before all season. At the moment, according to EastFruit analysts, Georgian vegetable growers sell an average of a third cheaper onion than a year earlier.

“In the spring of 2019, onion prices reached record levels, perhaps, in the entire history, and the shortage of onions in the market was so serious that many investors who have nothing to do with agriculture became interested in investing in growing onions in Georgia and many other things they took this step despite our warnings, ”says Katerina Poberezhna, international consultant to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from Georgia. “We can say that investors were somewhat lucky, because now onion prices, although lower than last year, are still at a good level precisely due to not very favorable weather conditions for growing in many countries in 2019,” notes expert.

See also: Export of onions from Khatlon region (Tajikistan) in 2019 reached 90 thousand tons

Georgia has traditionally been a net importer of onions, purchasing abroad about 20-25 thousand tons of fresh onions annually. The main supplier of onions to Georgia is traditionally Turkey. Periodically, products are also imported from Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In 2019, onion imports increased significantly and reached 35 thousand tons, and countries such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Egypt appeared among suppliers. It is also worth noting that, despite the significant supply of locally produced onions, there are a lot of imported products on the market, and in December 2019, imports completely exceeded imports one and a half times a year earlier. The main reason, according to market participants, is the low prices for onions in other countries, which stimulates them to look for new markets. For example, in December, Russia was the main supplier of onions to Georgia, because there the prices of products were on average 10-15 US cents lower. The difference with onion prices in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was even greater, which also contributed to the growth of onion supplies from these countries to Georgia.

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