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June 6 2014, 11:34 Fruit-Inform

Russia's ban on imports of Ukrainian potatoes to have no effect on potato industry in Ukraine

Fruit-Inform analysts believe that a temporary ban on imports of Ukrainian potatoes imposed by Russia’s federal veterinary and phytosanitary control agency (Rosselkhoznadzor) will have no impact on the potato industry in Ukraine.

Ukraine annually exports up to 8,000 tons of ware potatoes to the Russian Federation, a miserly volume against 2,8 mln tons of the internal market consumption in Ukraine.

«Potatoes are a minor category in Ukraine's fruit and vegetable exports», comments Ms. Tetiana Getman, Head of Fruit-Inform. «The Russian market is interesting for Ukrainian growers of early potatoes. Exports slightly restrain a price fall in summer during the seasons with large domestic production. However, the ban will have no impact on prices of middle-season and late potatoes as exports usually account for the share of less than 1% in the sales structure of those categories».

Mr. Sergey Rybalko, Vice-President of Ukrainian Association of Potato Producers, shares the same opinion.

«Closure of the Russian market may have a slight impact on prices of early potatoes but will not affect the Ukrainian market for late potatoes», says Mr. Rybalko. «For the present, the Southern European countries are the most interesting export markets for Ukrainian potatoes as the domestic production is not high there, and those countries are in better logistics position than Belarus or Poland».

Mr. Rybalko also believes that the ban is a political ploy as the market participants see no real reasons to impose it.

We would remind you that Rosselkhoznadzor has imposed a temporary ban on imports of ware potatoes from Ukraine due to detection of golden nematode in some shipments of Ukrainian potatoes.