In the first 6 months of 2020, Ukraine imported 443 thousand tons of fresh fruits, berries and nuts worth $ 333 million. For comparison, a year earlier, imports amounted to 398.9 thousand tons worth $ 271.1 million tons, reports the press service of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPOA).
Thus, the foreign supply of fresh fruits, berries and nuts in Ukraine has increased by 11% in terms of volume and by 22.8% in terms of value.
According to the report, the growth of imports was recorded in almost all commodity items of the fresh fruit and berry group, including fruits and berries, which are traditionally grown in Ukraine.
The sharpest increase in foreign supplies was observed in the case of melons and gourds. In the first six months, Ukraine imported 2.1 thousand tons of melons worth $ 2 million. For comparison, from January to June 2019, these figures stood at 0.7 thousand tons and $ 0.6 million.
“The main reason for the increase in imports this season was the reduction in the supply of local watermelons and early melon varieties. Due to low temperatures in early May, Ukrainian producers were forced to start sowing the early varieties with a delay. Accordingly, for the entire first half of the summer, most of the supply on the market was imported from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan,” said the UPOA.
A significant increase in imports was also recorded for fruit and berry products. In the first 6 months of 2020, Ukraine purchased apples and pears worth over $ 10.5 million. A year earlier, the value of these fruits' imports stood at just $ 7.1 million.
“It is important to note that in terms of volume, the foreign supply of apples and pears to Ukraine not only didn't increase, but actually fell by 10%,” said the organization.
As pointed out by the UPOA, there were several reasons for the increase in the cost of imported apples this season. Firstly, after the record season of 2018, there was a reduction in the apple production both in Ukraine and in most European countries. Also, due to unfavorable weather conditions last year, many growers reported a significant amount of poor quality products. Accordingly, the volume of apples that could be kept in storage for 8-9 months has been limited. Another reason for the high prices of apples was the increase in consumption of these fruits during the quarantine.
“Thus, an increase in the demand, combined with a reduction in the supply of apples, has led to significant price jumps,” summed up the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association.