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Onion price forecast for Ukraine based on a survey of market participants

The EastFruit project conducted an anonymous survey of market participants on its Telegram channel regarding the prospects for wholesale prices for onions for March 2024 in Ukraine. In addition, representatives of the fruit and vegetable trade of the largest trading platforms UkrOpt and EF Trade Platform took part in the survey. Over the course of two days, more than 260 people expressed their opinions about the onion price outlook.

The opinions of market participants are very divided, which indicates complete uncertainty among farmers and traders about the prospects for onion pricing even in the coming weeks! The fall in wholesale onion prices in the previous week, when everyone expected them to rise, also added to the uncertainty.

Interestingly, market participants least of all believe in price stability, and the most popular answer options were: "onion prices will increase slightly," which 29% of respondents believe, and "onion prices will collapse," which seems most likely for 25% of participants. Around 19% of participants believe in a sharp increase in wholesale prices for onions in Ukraine in March 2024.

If we average and digitize the survey indicators, then the forecast for wholesale onion prices for March 2024 for Ukraine will be +1%. This information can be verified in five weeks.

In the meantime, there continues to be a shortage of onions on the Eastern European market. Onion imports from Egypt will be blocked until at least the end of March 2024, and imports from New Zealand are significantly more expensive and take longer due to the longer route around Africa caused by Iran-backed attacks of Houthis on the civilian ships in the Red Sea.

At the same time, Poland actively imports onions not only from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, but also from Russia, which leads to lower prices in this specific market. Ukraine, in the meanwhile, exports onions to Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece and North Macedonia.

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