Ukraine – the fastest growing supplier of fruits and berries to the Polish market
During 2017/18 season, (June-May) Ukraine doubled its exports of fresh and processed fruits, berries and nuts to Poland compared to the season 2015/16 and earned US $56 million from such exports, according to EastFruit analysts.
Moreover, Ukraine is now among the top ten suppliers of fruits and berries to the Polish market, along with such countries as the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Italy, Ecuador, Turkey, Belgium, Portugal and Greece, and it now exports more to Poland than such large horticulture exporters as France and Chile. Ukraine is also increasing exports to Poland faster than any other country among top 10 suppliers.
The main product of Ukraine’s exports to Poland are frozen berries, mostly raspberries. Wild and cultivated blackberries and strawberries are also among the key products exported in this category. Berries assure around 69% of all Ukraine’s fruit export revenues on the Polish market. Plum and other stone fruit exports from Ukraine to Poland also sharply increased during the recent season. In addition, significant amounts of walnuts and fresh berries are also exported from Ukraine to Poland. Some of these berries go to Polish freezers located near the border with Ukraine and then are re-exported to other world countries as Polish frozen berries.
The negative trend in exports was noted only for watermelons and melon, which was partly due to the shortage of product in the domestic market in the summer of 2017 due to adverse weather conditions combined with a spike in domestic consumption due to very effective PR-campaign of launching a river-barge transportation from the south of Ukraine to Kyiv. However, in 2018 watermelon and melon exports from Ukraine to Poland could increase again.
Yet the most interesting fact is the delivery of 58 tons of apples from Ukraine to Poland. These went to the fresh market and not for processing, which set an interesting precedent, as Poland is the largest producer and exporter of apples in Europe. Moreover, Poland for many years supplied apples to the Ukrainian market and now the trends is being reversed. Ukrainian apple producers realized that they could compete with Poland even on their market not only by price, but also by quality.
Head of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPRA) Fedor Rybalko predicts that in the season of 2018/19, exports of fruits from Ukraine to the Polish market will continue increasing. First of all, exports of frozen berries will grow again as Ukraine has increased production substantially in 2018. We should also expect an increase in the exports of fresh berries, watermelons, melons and even apples, despite a record harvest of apples in Poland.