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February 21 2018, 12:22 Fruit-Inform

Ukrainian onions conquer Romanian market

Although Ukraine has significantly reduced onion exports over the current season, it has managed to enter new markets, reports Fruit-Inform.

According to Mr. Sergiy Klymashevich, Director at Greenwill, in the current season Ukrainian onions are in high demand in the Balkan States, particularly in Romania.

“Romanian companies used to offset shortage in stocks by onions from Poland. However, quality of Polish onions became unsatisfactory for them in this season. Therefore, they decided to search for alternative suppliers in Ukraine. As a result, we gained great opportunity to enter a new external market and prove ourselves as a reliable supplier. Furthermore, in this case export prices were 40% higher compared to those fixed in the internal market,” the expert comments on the situation.

Mr. Klymashevich says of no soaring quality requirements of Romanian buyers. Onions must be “well-dressed” and, most importantly, dry. Unfortunately, onions grown by various local farms do not meet the latter.

“Although Ukrainian farmers have learnt how to grow high-quality produce, only few can store it properly. It is storage issue that remains the reason for most mistakes, and it directly affects development of the whole sector,” he adds.

Moreover, the expert expects Ukraine to ship onions to the Balkan States successfully in the next season as well if Ukrainian growers take into account their mistakes. As regards domestic market, Mr. Klymashevich anticipates export prices of Ukrainian onions to be no higher than UAH 8/kg at the end of the season, while prices fixed by domestic market operators would be much lower.

“According to our estimates, growers still keep sufficient volumes of onions stocked. Hence, there is no reason to expect shortage,” he concludes.

It is worth mentioning that Ukraine’s onion exports have fallen by 30% since the beginning of 2017/18. At the same time, the country has managed to gain new export markets. For instance, apart from Romania that has recently entered the list of onion importers for Ukraine, Turkey has also become a new export destination accounting for 1,000 tons of Ukrainian onions.