Blueberry exports from Ukraine are expected to grow rapidly
Ukraine is rapidly expanding cultivated blueberry production thanks to more than 1mn ha of perfect quality land, which is perfectly suitable for blueberries by soil acidity, climatic conditions and access to water. According to estimates of analysts from Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA), Ukraine will be exporting 2-3 thousand tons of cultivated blueberries more each year starting from 2018.
In 2018 East-Fruit.com estimated that Ukraine exported around 7.2 thousand tons of fresh cultivated blueberries and almost 2 thousand tons of frozen cultivated blueberries. Ukraine also remains one of the largest global exporters of wild frozen blueberries, exporting from 30 to 44 thousand tons of these berries each year. Significant amount of these wild blueberries is organically certified according to European and Swiss organic certification standards.
It is forecast that in 2018 exports of cultivated blueberries will exceed 10 thousand tons for the first time in Ukraine’s history as local prices have been record low. However, domestic consumptions due to relatively low prices has also increased significantly as global prices were relatively low as well.
One of the problems preventing successful exports of Ukrainian cultivated blueberries is relatively short production season. While Ukraine has 2-3 weeks advantage over Poland in early blueberries, it does not grow enough late varieties. According to experts, this problem is due to production concentration in the North West of the country, where a lot of late varieties do not have enough time to fully mature and often are affected by frosts in the Autumn.