Ukrainian blueberries set to energize EU markets

The blueberry market in Ukraine has entered an active phase unusually early this season, bringing both challenges and new opportunities for producers and traders.
Wholesale blueberry prices in Ukraine have more than halved over the past week. On the EF Trade Platform, which has over 26,000 participants from 50 countries, the Ukrainian segment of fresh blueberries has been the most active, with prices typically ranging from 120 to 180 UAH/kg ($3-4.5 per kg), depending on volume and quality.
“In 2023, at this time, the Ukrainian market was just beginning to see the first batches of blueberries from small greenhouses, and there was no wholesale trade of locally produced berries. The market was dominated by imported blueberries priced at 400 UAH/kg and above. Therefore, current blueberry prices are significantly lower than at the same time last year,” explains Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Yarmak also notes that the previous season began with similarly low prices for Ukrainian blueberry producers. “Last season, with the start of blueberry harvesting, prices plummeted to 100-120 UAH/kg, which was a real shock for farmers, as small producers received even less. However, at the end of the season, due to a sharp decline in blueberry production in Peru, prices unexpectedly rose, helping to save the blueberry season for Ukrainian farmers,” he explains.
Market participants expect blueberry prices to continue to decline rapidly this week. Considering the devaluation of the Ukrainian currency, this will negatively impact farmers’ incomes but create new incentives for blueberry exports.
Exporters are already planning routes to export blueberries to the EU, bypassing Poland, which creates artificial trade barriers for Ukrainian berries at its borders. Additionally, Ukrainian blueberries may once again be supplied to Middle Eastern countries, given the recent resumption and intensification of maritime transport from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.




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