According to the director of the Fruit and Vegetable Union, Mikhail Glushkov, in 2020, Russian fruit producers will lose about 20% of the production due to frost.
“Russia's fruit production volume in Russia this year will be significantly lower than in the past. Firstly, due to an excessively warm winter, the number of orchards affected by pests and diseases will be greater than in the past. Secondly, in the main horticultural regions - Stavropol and Krasnodar Krai - late frosts were recorded, with crop losses that could reach 30-40%. These circumstances will negatively affect not only the size of the production, but also its quality. “Some of the fruits may be in poor condition," said Tamara Reshetnikova, general manager of Rostov Technologies.
According to estimates of regional associations in the territories of the South and North Caucasus Federal Districts, about 80% of the apple and pear productions and 85% of the cherries, plums, apricots and peaches were destroyed. There, the air temperature dropped to -11 °C.
“The consumer demand for all types of fruits has already been reduced both in terms of volume and value, and this trend will continue by the end of the year. For this reason, we do not expect a strong jump in fruit prices, despite the fact that producer costs are increasing due to ruble devaluations,” said Tamara Reshetnikova.
She believes that despite the expected low yield of apples and other fruits grown in Russia (peaches, apricots and cherries), foreign suppliers will not increase the import of their products into the territory of the Russian Federation, as Russian consumers will not be able to buy them due to their lower incomes. Besides, countries in Western Europe are experiencing a shortage of seasonal workers for the harvest due to the closure of borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Abroad, the demand for fruits and berries has also been reduced. Tamara Reshetnikova doubts that Russian fruit importers will look for new suppliers, for example, Australian or South American.
"The main question is not where to get imported products, but how to stimulate consumers to buy fruits and berries, and this can only be done without raising prices for them," she added.