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Ukraine exported record volume of frozen strawberries

In 2017, Ukraine exported a record volume of frozen strawberries and achieved this despite a significant reduction of the production volume, reports the portal "Infoshuvar" citing the State Statistics Service.

As already reported, Ukrainian growers lost a significant amount of the harvest due to spring frosts. Mid and late strawberry varieties were particularly affected; however, the crop's situation in the EU countries was even worse, and due to this, the demand for Ukrainian berries was extremely high.

From January to August 2017, Ukraine shipped 2.5 thousand tonnes of frozen berries worth $ 3.8 million. This is already 5 times more than in the same period last year and is, at the very least, the highest figure of the past 10 years.

"The external demand for frozen berries this year dictated the prices of raw materials in Ukraine. In July and June, we were forced to buy berries at 25-30 UAH / kg (0.79-0.95 EUR/kg), which is 2 times more expensive than in previous seasons. However, even under such conditions, competition between processing companies was very tough. In fact, the domestic market currently has a shortage of our own frozen berries, so we are forced to meet the demand with imported goods, which are mainly imported from Egypt," comments Marianna Vulkucchik, managing partner of the company All Berry.

It is worth recalling that the volume of Ukrainian frozen strawberry exports in January-August 2016 amounted to just 500 tonnes worth $ 740 thousand. In total, in 2016, Ukraine exported 700 tonnes of frozen strawberries worth about $ 1.02 million.

Just like in 2016, the main market for Ukrainian products remains the EU. As experts point out, in the current season, the EU accounted for almost 80% of all exports of Ukrainian frozen strawberries.

By contrast, neighbouring Poland has significantly reduced its exports. According to the portal, the shortage of raw materials in Poland this year was extremely high, and prices for industrial berries were almost 2 times higher, reaching up to 5.1 złoty/kg (1.2 EUR/kg).

Poland is the main supplier of frozen strawberries in the EU market and the second largest exporter of these products. In the last 5 seasons, according to Eurostat, Polish frozen strawberries have had a share of 30% of the total supply in the EU market and of 20% in the global market. But due to a drop in the supply from Poland, EU consumers this season have been forced to increase their purchases from Ukraine, Spain and Egypt.


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