The fruit and berry harvest in Ukraine this season could fall by 25% compared with the previous one due to unfavorable weather conditions, Chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Agrarian Export Dmytro Kroshka has said.
“The upcoming season will definitely become less fruitful compared to the previous one. We can see a 25% decline in production at industrial farms of pome, stone fruit and berry crops that are traditionally grown in Ukraine. Manufacturers complain of the rainy spring, dry summer, hail due to rapid temperature changes. There are still two months ahead, which, due to weather conditions, will be, like a lottery, for producers of pome crops,” he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Kroshka, the harvest of apples in Ukraine in the current season from industrial producers can fall by 30%.
“If in 2018 we collected 655,000 tonnes of apples of different quality and different varieties, today we expect a total harvest of 460,000 tonnes, which will definitely have an impact on the entire market and the production of derivative products,” the head of the association said.
In 2018, industrialists harvested 45,000 tonnes of stone fruit crops, this year the harvest could be about 38,000 tonnes.
“We expect a decline in the production of traditional berry crops in Ukraine due to weather and climatic conditions from 26,000 tonnes to 23,000 tonnes. At the same time, due to the start of fruiting of significant areas with blueberry, the production of this crop will be increased. Last year, we collected about 3,000 tonnes of this crop, this year we will reach 4,000 tonnes, which is significant for the Ukrainian market, and we predict that by the results of the next marketing year we will see export growth,” Kroshka said.
He said that it would be logical against this background to increase prices for the entire range of fruit and berry products made in Ukraine. The most tangible may be an increase in the price of apples, while the price of blueberries may remain stable or even decline. At the same time, the ratio of high and low quality of the harvested fruit and berry crops in the production structure remains unknown.
Kroshka also said that in the 2018/2019 season, Ukraine’s exports of apples increased 1.6 times, to 55,600 tonnes thanks to the demand for Ukrainian apples, at the same time, export of pears decreased 41%, to 434 tonnes.
Ukraine increased the export of walnut for this period by 45%, to 48,500 tonnes and this figure will continue to grow thanks to the entry into the fruiting of the nut trees, the area under which is expanding from year to year.
The head of the association said that a reduction in the export of stone fruit crops (cherry varieties, plums) is influenced by the lack of technology for presale preparation of products in terms of cooling, packaging of products. In addition, exports are constrained by undeveloped logistics for the supply of fresh stone fruit products.
“We have a serious drop in plum exports [from 8,000 tonnes to 133 tonnes]. This is due to the fact that the main market for Ukrainian plums was the EU, where last season local producers had large production volumes. Ukrainian producers were not able to compete with European and sold plums mainly in the domestic market,” Kroshka said.
According to him, the export of berry crops (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) decreased in the season 2018/2019, which is due to the insufficient provision of presale preparation for fresh crops.
On Tuesday, July 9, at 10.00, the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency will host a press conference entitled “Results of Exports of Fresh Fruits and Berries in 2018-2019. Forecast for Harvest (and Ukrainian Exports) for 2019-2020 Season.”
Participants: Dmytro Kroshka, the chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Agrarian Export, Volodymyr Hurzhiy, an expert for exports at First Ukrainian Apples Producers Aggregating Company USPA FRUIT, Oleksandr Yaschenko, the deputy director for research of the Institute of Horticulture, and Oleh Bosy, the agricultural technologist and managing partner of FruiTech (8/5a Reitarska Street). Registration of journalists requires press accreditation.
On Tuesday, July 2, at 12.30, the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency will host a press conference devoted to possible illegal seizure of harvest of Danish DFU Agro (subsidiary of Dan-Farm Ukraine LLC). Participants include: Director of DFU Agro LLC Vadym Shestakov, representatives of the Zhytomyr Regional Administration, representatives of the Danish Embassy in Ukraine, and representatives of leading business associations (8/5a Reitarska Street). Registration of journalists requires press accreditation.
The Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine predicts that this year grain harvest in the country could reach 70.8 million tonnes compared with 70.1 million tonnes in 2018 under favorable conditions.
The ministry said that corn harvest could decrease by 7.5%, to 33.1 million tonnes, wheat harvest could increase 9.3%, to 26.9 million tonnes and barley – by 12.3%, to 8.2 million tonnes.
As reported, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its May report predicted grain harvest in Ukraine in 2019 at 72.1 million tonnes.
According to the USDA, wheat production in Ukraine this year may reach 29 million tonnes, corn – 33 million tonnes, barley – 9 million tonnes.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts that grain harvest in Ukraine in 2019 will be 65.3 million tonnes, which is 5.6% lower than in 2018.
According to the May report, FAO forecasts an increase in wheat production in Ukraine in 2019 by 7.7%, to 26.5 million tonnes and a decrease in corn production by 19%, to 29 million tonnes.
Wheat exports in 2019/20 agricultural year (July-June) will decrease compared to the previous agri-year 0.3%, to 17 million tonnes, corn by 1.2%, to 21 million tonnes, and barley by 0.3%, 4.2 million tonnes.
According to the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food, Ukraine since the beginning of the 2018/2019 agri-year as of May 13, 2019 exported 43.77 million tonnes of grain and leguminous plants, which is 24.5% more than on the same date of the previous agri-year.
Grain exports in 2018/2019 agri-year, according to the estimates of the ministry, are projected to be 49 million tonnes.
The harvest and quality of sugar beets in 2019 will be lower than expected due to extra moisture of upper layers of soil and high air humidity caused by heavy rains, the press service of the Ukrtsukor national association of sugar producers has said.
According to the association, rains washed out part of the sugar beet crops, and high humidity contributes to the development of plant diseases. In addition, heavy rains are washing out nitrogen from the soil, as a result of which the growth and development of sugar beet deteriorates.
“Taking into account all the factors, we can predict that the sugar content and yield will be lower than the expected level, which, in turn, will affect the production of sugar. According to our forecasts, this year we will be able to get within 1.1-1.2 million tonnes of sugar. This volume can create a certain shortage in the market,” the association said.
As reported, according to the previous forecast of Ukrtsukor, the production of sugar was projected at the level of 1.3-1.4 million tonnes (a fall of 23-29% compared with 2018).
According to the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine, as of May 13, 2019, 217,400 hectares of sugar beet were sown (88.9% of the forecast).