The first harvest of Georgian sweet cherries arrived on the market in mid-May accompanied by higher prices compared to the previous season. EastFruit price monitoring data from the week of May 12 revealed an opening price of 20 GEL/kg ($7.68) for large caliber (>26mm) fruits, marking a substantial increase from the 15 GEL/kg ($5.76) seen in the previous season. In conversation with farmers, EastFruit found out that humid weather has adversely affected the early harvest, resulting in a diminished supply of top-quality cherries.
According to the updated information from the market this week, supply has significantly increased since mid-May, leading to a stabilization of prices. On June 1 sweet cherries were traded on the wholesale market for 4-8 GEL/kg ($1.54-$3.07). However, the largest sweet cherry-producing region, Shida Kartli, is yet to commence harvesting, suggesting that in the upcoming weeks, prices might experience further decrease.
Source: Rural Development Agency
Sweet cherries are among the top three most cultivated stone fruits by beneficiaries of the government-supported program, Plant the Future. Over the course of 2015 to 2022, 176 ha of new sweet cherry orchards were planted under the program.
Despite the relative popularity of this crop and its increasing production year-by-year, export volumes remain insignificant. In 2021, according to official data, out of the total production of 6,900 tons, only 291 tons were exported, primarily to the Russian market. However, there has been interest from Gulf countries in purchasing Georgian sweet cherries last year. Exporters highlight the challenge of limited production of large-caliber, high-quality fruits, making it difficult to gather enough produce for export.
For more information: east-fruit.com