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Ukrainian growers expect problems with cherry sales this year

Staff writer |
The Ukrainian cherry season will start no earlier than in the middle of this week, and growers are concerned about sales possibilities in the current season, according to Fruit-Inform.

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This year shipments to Russia, previously the largest export market for Ukrainian cherries, remain doubtful in view of active ban on imports of Ukrainian fruits and vegetables there. Farmers also do not expect cherry shipment volumes to Crimea to reach last year's exports to Russia.

"Cherries are a perishable product, and their shelf life amounts to several days, while now it takes averagely 5-7 days to ship products to Crimea", says a large grower. "In addition, logistic costs have significantly grown in the current season; therefore, Ukrainian cherries can become uncompetitive in price in the Russian market in the peak of the export season".

At the same time, Fruit-Inform analysts are not so pessimistic. "The Russian cherry market always seriously depended on imports, which were similar to domestically grown volumes of cherries", comments Ms. Tetiana Getman, Head of Fruit-Inform.

"The share of Ukrainian cherries was not high in the Russian market and totaled about 4-6% annually. However, taking into account the devaluation of the Russian ruble and Ukrainian hryvnia, it is price that can become the main advantage of Ukrainian farmers compared with Turkish and the EU suppliers, which previously accounted for more than 50% of Russia's total cherry imports. Naturally, farms with applied post-harvest cooling technology will be in better position among competitors".

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