The persimmon season in Europe is just beginning, but experts already forecast that prices will be relatively high. Spain, the leader of the global persimmon market, is known to receive 20-25% less of the harvest. Moreover, the reason is not frosts, but the rapid spread of the pest Planococcus (mealybug), which has affected most of the persimmon plantations in Spain. This led to an increase in treatments, and hence to an increase in costs, as well as the loss of a part of the persimmon harvest and deterioration of its quality.
Spain annually exports about 210,000 tons of persimmons; approximately one third of the global trade in this fruit. In the 2021/22 season, the export of persimmons from Spain may decrease to 160,000-170,00 tons, which means it will be the lowest in the last ten years.
Since Spain exports its persimmons to other EU countries, as well as to Ukraine and the Middle East, what does this mean for persimmons from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other countries of the region? Could they partially replace Spanish goods in these markets?
More than 200,000 tons of persimmons are exported annually from Azerbaijan (mainly to Russia), and almost 100,000 tons were exported from Uzbekistan in 2020. The export volumes of Uzbek persimmons are also growing very quickly. Like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan supplies almost all of its persimmons to Russia and the countries of the former USSR.
Taking into account the difference in appearance and taste parameters, as well as the higher risks of trade in persimmons from our region, it is obvious that a decrease in the harvest of persimmons in Spain will not have a large impact on the price and export of persimmons from Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan and other countries of the region. After all, exports will be directed, as before, primarily to the Russian market, which is the largest importer of persimmon in the world.