Ukrainian cherry producers find it more and more difficult to compete with Uzbekistan – expert
"The situation on the cherry market does not play in favor of Ukrainian producers. First of all, production proper suffers annually because of weather. In 2021, in addition to frosts in the spring, heavy rainfall caused significant damage to the crop. For example, in Zaporizhzhya region, where most cherry-growing farms are located, three months of rainfall fell in June. This led not only to a decrease in the harvest, but also to a significant deterioration in quality. As a result, Ukrainian producers simply could not find a necessary volume for export," comments the expert.
The situation was also aggravated by the increased supply of cherries from Uzbekistan. According to the analyst, over the past two years, this country has significantly strengthened its position on the Ukrainian market. As a result, in the 2021 season, this country accounted for more than 45% of cherry imports to Ukraine.
"In addition, we see that Uzbekistan continues to expand into the global cherry market as well, and in some cases displaces Ukraine. For example, last season the UBA held more than a hundred B2B meetings with international buyers and we received a lot of requests for Ukrainian cherries, including from Italian companies. However, unfortunately, we had nothing to offer them. As a result, Uzbekistan entered this market," adds Mariia Lakeieva.