In 2019, export of fresh apples exceeded the previous year's figure by 26.5% and is the highest over the last 5 years. Within specified period, Ukrainian producers increased supplies of domestic apples almost by 11 times.
The key purchasers of domestic fruits last year were Belarus, Iraq, Turkey, Austria and Moldova.
At the same time, import of fresh apples increased tenfold last year compared to the previous 2018 year. Maintenance of favourable price environment on the domestic market of apples in Ukraine even after completion of fruits harvesting stimulated an increase in supplies of more competitively-priced products from Poland that provided 99% of imports.
At the same time, foreign trade balance of fresh apples was positive last year amounting to USD 10.5 million. It means that in the past five years Ukraine has transformed from a net importer into a net exporter, i.e. it has started to export more products than to import.
‘Export potential of domestic fresh apples has enhanced owing to increase of the professional farms facilities to store them, in particular, modern controlled atmosphere fruit storages’, explains Valentyna Kropyvko, the UCAB expert. ‘These storages ensure that the high quality of premium segment fruit is maintained throughout the year. Taking onto consideration above mentioned, export orientation of fresh apples industry has grown from 1% to 17% over the last five years, despite reduction of gross fruit production by agricultural enterprises amounting to 311,000 tonnes last year’.
It is worth reminding that apple production in Ukraine reduced by 309 thousand tons or 21% in 2019 comparing to the record 2018 and is 1,153.4 thousand tons. The decline in gross production resulted from decrease in the yield by 27.3 hkg/ha or 17 % due to the adverse weather conditions last spring.