Exports of Ukrainian apples increased fourfold during the first two months of the 2018/19 season – UHA
Ukrainian fruit growers were able to export 3.7 times more apples in July-August 2018 than in the same period a year ago. During the last two months of the summer, about 3,300 tons of apples have been exported from Ukraine with the total revenue of US $940 thousand dollars, while in July-August 2017 exports comprised only 480 tons worth US $139 thousand. Analysts of Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA) point out that the average price of exported apples in the current season is much higher than a year ago.
“The most part of the Ukrainian apple exports in August was made up of various clones of Gala apples, which began to ripen in the middle of August. In addition to this variety, early varieties of apples were also exported. In July, except for the apples of the summer varieties, significant volumes of apples harvested in 2017 got also exported. Producers were able to get a higher price for their apples thanks to the high quality of the fruits, its good colour and great marketing efforts during the previous season “, – informed UHA.
According to experts of the UHA, the exports of Ukrainian apples in the 2018/19 season can double and reach 80-90 thousand tons. At the same time, analysts believe that the apple harvest in the current year will be such that it would allow exports of almost twice as many apples than predicted. However, this will be difficult to achieve due to the discrepancy of varieties grown in Ukraine with the needs of consumers outside of Russia and other countries of the former USSR. Other export obstacles include the shortages of modern optical sorting lines of good capacity and a shortage of modern packaging for apples. Therefore, lion’s share of the record 2018 apple harvest will be processed. Unfortunately for farmers, prices of apples paid by processors for industrial apples, also remain historically low.
The only positive news is that affordable apple prices in the current season will contribute to increased domestic consumption of these fruits in Ukraine. At the same time, producers who have apples of high quality will sell mostly for exports, since domestic prices will be relatively low throughout the season. The main regions where Ukrainian apples will be exported include countries of the EU, the Middle East, Belarus and South-East Asia.