Ukraine exports fresh blueberries to Singapore
Ukraine exported the first batch of blueberries to Singapore, according to Director of “U-Berry” Company Taras Bastannik. In an interview with the EastFruit portal he said that the first trial export lot consisted of 500 kg of fresh blueberries at a price of 7.66 euro (around US $8.9 per kg). Costs of transportation and logistics was 2.15 euro (US $2.5 per kg), which means that the net price in Ukraine was close to US $6.7 per kg.
At that time, they were able to get a similar price from traders on the local market in Ukraine and viewed this shipment as an effort for the future. The export shipment resulted from the mission organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ukrainian Embassies in Singapore and Malaysia with the support of the Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA) in January 2018.
According to the Head of U-Berry Company, the main purpose of the shipment was to study the possibilities of fresh berry logistics to such a distant market as Singapore, which he considers the market of the future. After all, the culture of fresh berries consumption is only being formed in countries of South-East Asia, and there is no demand for frozen berries there yet. The three main crops consumed in the region are cherries, strawberries and blueberries. In this case, the volumes are relatively small and logistics for Ukrainian suppliers are more complicated than for the competitors: suppliers from the United States or Australia.
We also do not have direct flights to Asia and need to go through Istanbul. Accordingly, risks for perishable fruits are very high after overloading and temperature fluctuations in the airports. The company believes that at this stage their priority should be the EU market, which is large and mature, and is just next door to Ukraine, despite being more demanding in quality. Nevertheless, Southeast Asia is a rapidly growing market. Therefore, it is necessary to keep an eye on the opportunities of this market and look for ways to optimize logistics.
One of the best options for the supply fresh berries to Asia, according to UHA, would be to ship it by truck to Istanbul and then to load it to the direct flight to Singapore there. This will prevent temperature fluctuations and reduce overall costs. Thus, it will be possible to supply not only blueberries, but also raspberries, cherries and other expensive perishable feeds to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and other countries of the region.