Not enough for everyone – apple imports to Ukraine in May decreased compared to 2019

Not enough for everyone – apple imports to Ukraine in May decreased compared to 2019


At the same time, the price level for apples was much higher than a year earlier due to increased import costs.

According to EastFruit analysts, despite the high level of apple prices and high demand in the domestic market, its import into Ukraine in May 2020 was 27% lower than in the same month of 2019. At the same time, apple prices were much higher than a year earlier, because total apple import costs rose 16%.

“Frosts almost completely destroyed the harvest of Ukrainian sweet cherries and greatly reduced the yield of garden strawberries, especially early varieties in 2020. In addition, the abnormally cold weather in May 2020 significantly delayed the ripening of berries and fruits, which are usually available as early as mid-May. Accordingly, consumers in May had no particular choice but apples, but not everyone could buy them, since the 2019 harvest was relatively low, stocks by May were almost exhausted and prices rose very quickly, ”explains Andrey Yarmak, Economist, Investment Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

He also explains that in the event of a shortage by the end of the season, Ukraine usually imports Polish apples between April and June. However, in April already in April apple stocks were relatively low – two times lower than in 2019. At the same time, apple demand in most EU countries has risen sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also boosted their prices. And in Poland, the weather was similar to Ukrainian, and domestic apple consumption also increased.

See also: Ukrainian gardeners hit the jackpot at the end of the 2019/20 season

“The average wholesale price at the end of May 2020 was 2.5 times higher than at the same time in 2019. Ukrainian gardeners could sell popular apple varieties of good quality stored in modern storages with RGS at prices from 20 to 30 UAH / kg ($ 0.75-1.15 USD per kg). Now, by mid-June, prices have already exceeded 30 UAH / kg. Last season, a comparable price could be obtained only by delivering a premium-quality fresh apple after sorting to Singapore or Malaysia with logistics and packaging, and now Ukrainian wholesalers and supermarkets pay so much for an apple shipped from a warehouse in Ukraine. Naturally, in such conditions, the export of Ukrainian apples has fallen to their lowest levels in recent years, ”says Andrei Yarmak.

EastFruit analysts say that in May 2019, Ukraine exported 10 times more apples than in May of this year, when only 322 tons were exported to foreign markets. The last time Ukraine exported so little apple in May was in 2017.

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“We predict that in the 2019/20 season, Ukraine will be able to supply about 21 thousand tons of fresh apple to foreign markets, some of which is an industrial apple for processing. Last season, exports were almost three times higher and reached a record for Ukraine 59 thousand tons. And in the 2017/18 season, exports amounted to about 42 thousand tons. In the next season, production, exports and prices will depend on weather conditions in the remaining months of the growing season, but it is now obvious that gardeners again lost a very significant part of the apple crop due to spring frosts, ”says Katerina Zvereva, Development Director of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPAA).

A sharp increase in apple prices was characteristic not only for Ukraine, but also for all countries of Europe without exception. It reflected the general apple deficit in the region.

“The average wholesale prices for apples in Poland have risen most sharply – compared to May 2019, the price here has increased by 3.5 times. In the Russian Federation, where apple prices are always the highest in the region, but where in 2019, unlike the countries of Europe and Ukraine, a high apple crop was obtained, prices rose on average by 44%, and in Moldova – the largest apple exporter of the post-Soviet countries – by 57%. However, the price of an apple in Moldova is directly tied to the price of an apple in Russia, because almost all grown Moldavian apples are delivered there, ”explains Andrei Yarmak.

Recall that you can watch the recording of the conference “Apple forecasts,” organized by the EastFruit project on May 20, 2020, at this link.


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