Ukrainian Watermelons are Three Times more Expensive than a Year Earlier
In early August, Ukrainian producers, despite the seasonal decline in prices, ship watermelons almost three times more expensive than in the same period last year, said Kateryna Zvereva, Development Director of the Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA).
“The season of local watermelons in Ukraine is approaching its peak. Due to the increase in supply on the market, prices for “striped berries” dropped to their lowest level for the season. However, despite the seasonal decline in prices, Ukrainian producers in early August ship watermelons almost three times more expensive than in the same period last year,” she said in a comment to the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
Wholesale prices for watermelons in Ukraine range from 4-6 UAH / kg. In comparison, a year earlier this berry could be purchased at UAH 1.5-2 / kg.
According to Zvereva, the high prices compared to last season are primarily due to unfavorable weather conditions, which affected the ripening of watermelons.
“Low air temperatures throughout May and the first half of June not only delayed the season of early varieties of watermelons by several weeks but also affected the harvest of later varieties. Those farmers who, despite the cool weather (the minimum night air temperatures in May were recorded within 4-7 ° C) decided to sow watermelons in early May, partially lost the harvest, or received uneven shoots. Accordingly, the products are delivered to the market unevenly,” explained the UHA Development Director.
Currently, the prices for watermelons in Ukraine are the highest for the last 5 years. Among the five previous seasons, prices closest to current indicators were fixed in 2018 – within 2.5-3.5 UAH / kg. At the beginning of August 2019 and 2016, watermelon was shipped in approximately the same price range – UAH 1.5-2 / kg, and in 2017 the average wholesale prices were even lower – UAH 1.5 / kg, the UHA noted.