The main reason for this decision, according to the president of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPOA) Taras Bashtannik, is lower prices for the product in the exporting country. Note that the start of importing potatoes at a time when potato storage facilities are filled with local products is a very unpleasant signal.
“Today there are a lot of producers who grow potatoes inefficiently. Moreover, for two years now we have been importing products from Russia and Belarus, and this year, at the beginning of summer, we started importing potatoes from the Netherlands, and now we are already supplying from Poland. This is due to the fact that in Poland the consumption of potatoes by HoReCa and processing segments has significantly decreased due to quarantine lockdowns. Accordingly, large volumes of potatoes "put pressure" on prices, which are falling below the cost, ”explains Taras Bashtannik, criticizing the statements of the representative of the mono-majority of the Parliament of Ukraine that state support for Ukrainian potato growing is unnecessary.
“Today potatoes in Ukraine cost twice as much as in Poland. Moreover, according to my information, in recent days, a number of large Ukrainian manufacturers have again begun to increase the selling prices for products. They justify this by the fact that in 2020 they received a lower harvest than in 2019, and in the context of a decrease in the volume of goods on the market, price increases are quite logical. In addition, now wholesale prices for potatoes in Ukraine are 40% lower than at the same time last year, which, in the opinion of potato growers, is unfair. Nevertheless, the realities are such that we will not be able to avoid another round of imports if local producers keep prices at a high level, ”explains Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Weekly reviews of the potato market show that prices for potatoes in Ukraine are already higher than even in Georgia and Moldova. Namely, Moldova has been the main export market for Ukrainian potatoes for several years.