EastFruit analysts report that during the global coronavirus pandemic (February - June 2020), Ukrainian fruit and vegetable exports have fallen by 43% compared to the same period last year. During this period, Ukraine's revenue from the export of vegetables and fruits has dropped to $ 58.5 million, compared to $ 101.3 million in the same period last year.
Three product groups account for 64% of all export earnings: walnuts, frozen berries and fruits, and fresh apples. A year earlier, during this period, these commodity items accounted for 74% of all Ukrainian fruit and vegetable exports. In 2019, apples generated the most revenue to Ukraine in this period (about 40%), but in 2020, apples are in third place in terms of revenue, after nuts and frozen berries and fruits, with a share of 16%.
“Ukrainian apple exports are 4.5 times lower, and the average export price has been significantly higher than last year. The Covid-19 pandemic has stimulated the demand for apples in the EU countries and pushed prices up; unfortunately, the apple harvest in Ukraine in 2019 was relatively low, and the domestic demand only increased against the background of a cold spring and the lockdown. Therefore, high prices on the domestic market and a shortage of apples have made exporting unprofitable,” says Andriy Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In the period from February to June 2020, apple exports accounted for most of Ukraine's lost export revenue compared to 2019, with about $ 26.6 million. Walnuts ranked second, as the revenue fell by $ 9.4 million, or 36%. Lastly, the decline in the export of frozen berries and fruits in February-June 2020 was less significant, with $ 1.5 million, or 10%.