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Fresh apple prices in Ukraine are high – will Ukraine turn to imports?

As EastFruit analysts forecasted before the start of recent apple season, fresh apple prices remained relatively high throughout until now. In Ukraine, apple prices are really high, but they are not record-high yet. However, there are still more than three months until the end of the season, so the question arises: will prices soar to record levels in the remaining time and will Ukraine start importing apples in large volumes?

Let's take the prices for the most popular apple variety in Ukraine, which is Golden Delicious. This variety enjoys both high domestic demand throughout the year and is actively exported. Therefore, its prices are most indicative.

As we can see, currently wholesale prices for fresh apples of this variety in Ukraine average about 51 US cents per kg, which is lower than in 2020 and 2021, but higher than in the other three seasons for which price data is available. Thus, apple prices are now above average and not very far from historical records.

Nonetheless, for other varieties, the gap between the current price and the record prices is much greater. For example, for varieties of the Jonagold group, wholesale prices for apples are now very close to the average for recent years. The same is true for the still popular, but gradually losing leadership in preferences "Idared" variety.

What to expect in the coming months? Will Ukraine have enough of its own apples until the end of the season and, if not, will prices skyrocket, as they did a year ago and in 2020 to attract massive imports? Also, which countries would supply if Ukraine were to import apples in May-July?

In 2020, the reason for the rise in prices was Covid, as a result of which apple consumption increased sharply and trade relations were temporarily disrupted, which led to chaos in the markets.

Last season, Ukrainian apple growers received a lower harvest of apples, and then tried to sell them out as quickly as possible, since Russia launched terrorist attacks on the country's energy infrastructure and farmers were not confident in the ability to preserve the apples until the end of the season. Therefore, already in May, almost all apples had to be imported, which led to a sharp rise in prices.

This season, the stocks of apples in the storage facilities of Ukrainian growers are much higher than in the previous one. In addition, our closest neighbors Poland and Moldova, who are much larger apple exporters than Ukraine, have stable prices and relatively large stocks of apples.

Wholesale prices for apples in both Moldova and Poland are lower than in Ukraine, which will allow, if necessary, to import products at a relatively affordable price without major price spikes. The likelihood of apple price records repeating this season in Ukraine is low. However, apple prices are likely to rise in May-June, which is a normal seasonal trend.


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