Difficulties in sending to Russia have forced down the Ukrainian fresh produce price index, which tumbled by 2.9 per cent in the week of 15-21 March, following a fall of 0.4 per cent the previous week, Fruit-Inform has reported.
Although Russia closed the border to Ukrainian goods for only a few hours, full checks on imports have now become standard, causing major delays and leading to quality issues.
"A decrease in the fresh produce price index is connected with a sharp fall in prices of greenhouse vegetables, which were registered due to growing outputs and problems with exports to the Russian Federation," said Tetiana Getman, head of Fruit-Inform. "Citrus and banana prices also went up due to instability in the currency market, and white cabbage became more expensive thanks to lower stocks of high-quality produce."
Andriy Yarmak, an agribusiness consultant based in Ukraine, stated that the greenhouse vegetable business was likely to be badly affected by the current situation.
"This is good news for Spanish and Turkish suppliers of tomatoes and cucumbers," he said, adding that prices in Ukraine had dropped by 17 per cent in the last week and could continue declining as domestic production increased seasonally.
According to Fruit-Inform, domestic demand for fruit and vegetables remains low in Ukraine, the worst hit region being the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where farmers have reportedly had to reduce their prices to attract purchasers from other Ukrainian regions.
However, issues surrounding money transfers and risks associated with transportation in the occupied territory have ensured that interest remains minimal.