EastFruit analysts report the arrival of bulk batches of early potatoes from Uzbekistan to the Ukrainian market. These products are offered in bulk at 15-17 UAH / kg (57-64 US cents per kg) and are of good quality.
However, market participants note that Uzbek potatoes are now being sold with great difficulty, as There are more and more offers of Ukrainian early potatoes at a more competitive price. In addition, the quality of Ukrainian early products is higher than Uzbek, due to the fact that Ukrainian potatoes are delivered to customers immediately from the field after harvesting.
Also, a significant negative impact on the sale of early (young) potatoes is still exerted by the products of last year's crop, which are now being sold by their vegetable stores. If at the beginning of last week the wholesale prices for last year's potatoes of Ukrainian origin were formed at the level of 8-10 UAH / kg (30-38 US cents per kg), then by the weekend offers of these products at 5-7 UAH / kg started to appear (19- 27 US cents per kg). At the same time, the quality of potatoes offered was constantly deteriorating, which forced farmers to further reduce prices.
It seems that the potato growers of Ukraine suggest that early production will rapidly fall in price, therefore they consider it inappropriate to preserve the remnants of the 2018 crop, and are ready to part with them at almost any price. Moreover, the last season can easily be attributed to profitable ones for potato farmers, as product prices were high.
Read also: a review of the potato market of Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Tajikistan, Moldova and Georgia for the 21st week of 2019.
EastFruit experts note that Ukraine has never imported Uzbek potatoes before, since Uzbekistan itself is a large importer of potatoes. Uzbekistan annually imports from 150 to 300 thousand tons of marketable potatoes, being one of the twenty largest importers in the world.
At the same time, Ukraine has never previously imported more than 18 thousand tons of potatoes, which is a meager volume against the background of the size of the domestic market. According to the estimates of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPOA), import of marketable potatoes to Ukraine never exceeded 1% of the domestic market, and, as a rule, accounted for the lean years with abnormal climatic conditions, when a shortage of quality products began to be felt in April.
However, this season Ukraine may well renew its own record of potato imports, as in June 2018 - April of 2019, more than 13 thousand tons were already imported. Traditionally, the main supplier of potatoes to Ukraine is Egypt. However, significant volumes of potatoes were also imported from Belarus this season. It is possible that some of the Belarusian potatoes imported into Ukraine are, in fact, potatoes from Russia.
Why did Ukraine start importing potatoes from Uzbekistan this season? Most likely, the onion is to blame. A large shortage of onions in Ukraine and the EU in the past season helped establish onion supplies from Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine. In parallel with this, importers were looking for supplies and other goods. And since harvesting of early potatoes in Uzbekistan began in March, and prices at that time were relatively low, and its deliveries in April-May were a good addition to the supply of onions. At the same time, it seems that the last export shipments of Uzbek potatoes did not bring much profit to Ukrainian importers, as product prices on the market are now falling almost daily.
We also note that the export of potatoes from Ukraine this season also remained high and exceeded the volume of imports. For 11 months of the 2018/19 season, exports exceeded 17,7 thousand tons and were lower than only a season by 18% compared to a season earlier in the same period.
“The harvest of potatoes in Ukraine in 2019 can again grow sharply against the backdrop of high prices in the 2018/19 season. Many, even large producers, have already significantly expanded the area under potatoes, despite the understanding of the high probability of a price collapse in the new season, ”says Fedor Rybalko, head of the UPOA. “In this regard, we are actively working with leading potato growers in Ukraine to improve practices for finalizing and packaging products, and are also looking for reasonable logistics solutions for exporting potatoes to the Middle East,” says Fyodor Rybalko.
Several leading potato producers in Ukraine took an active part in the largest trade forum of Ukrainian fruit and vegetable companies in the Middle East, Fruit Trade Ukraine - Middle East, which took place in March 2019. As part of this event, they held talks with the largest importers of potatoes in the region. And although interest in Ukrainian products was high, Ukrainian companies doubted their own abilities to provide the necessary quality of products and be competitive in price, given the expensive logistics. The forum was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and financial support from the EU (EU4Business).
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A source: https://east-fruit.com/