06 January 2023
As other vegetables see huge price hikes, potatoes are over-supplied say analysts.
AS prices for onions and carrots reached record highs in Ukraine, the opposite has been true for potatoes, which have been over-produced, leading to much-reduced prices and minimal incomes for growers.
EastFruit analysts have reported that prices for some vegetables in Ukraine at the end of 2022 were record high, and for others – record low. The main reason was a full-scale military invasion by Russian aggressors, which destroyed production in southern Ukraine and all logistics, and forced millions of Ukrainians to leave their homes in search of asylum abroad.
Onion prices rose the most in 2022. Wholesale prices for onions in 2022 increased in hryvnia (UAH) by 3.1 times. Carrot prices have risen by 2.4 times in UAH. Of course, the price increase in USD was smaller, but since consumers in Ukraine paid for vegetables in local currency, price growth in UAH is much more indicative. It is also important for producers to know prices in dollars – most of their expenses depended on foreign currencies, since seeds, plant protection products, fuels and lubricants, parts for machinery, and fertilizers were imported to Ukraine.
It is noteworthy that wholesale prices for onions and carrots in Ukraine at the end of the year were record-breaking. Onion prices were more than three times higher than the previous record prices and 5 times higher than the average for the past few years.
Carrot prices were also record high and almost as shocking as those for onions. The previous record levels were exceeded by 2.5 times and the average levels were exceeded by 5-6 times.
The opposite was true for potatoes. The main potato-producing regions were not occupied by Russian aggressors or were liberated in time for the resumption of fieldwork. In addition, fearing a lack of access to food, people have dramatically increased the areas planted with potatoes, which has led to their oversupply on the market. The average wholesale price for potatoes at the end of 2022 in Ukraine was only 11% higher in UAH than last year, but 17% lower in USD.
In fact, the price of $0.14 on December 30th was the lowest ever. Obviously, there was no potato growers’ income at this wholesale price since it did not even cover the costs for the purchase of high-quality seed material, and this may have a negative influence on potato production in 2023.
Greenhouse vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers have risen in price, but less than onions and carrots. The price rise is less sharp than one might expect, given the energy crisis in Europe and especially in Ukraine, and import logistics issues. At the same time, the demand for greenhouse vegetables in Ukraine also declined notably.