Uzbekistan down in global ranking of fresh apricot exporters
In 2017 Uzbekistan was just the sixth largest global exporter of fresh apricots, as it more than halved its export volumes from 50,000 tons to just 23,000 tons. Thus, Uzbekistan was behind Spain, Turkey, France, Italy and Greece in the global ranking. It is worth mentioning that Uzbekistan ranked second in 2016, with only Spain being ahead.
Russia accounts for the largest part of Uzbekistani fresh apricot exports, despite the fact that the official statistics show rather high exports to Kazakhstan. Traders believe that Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan just re-export Uzbekistani fruits to the Russian market.
It should be noted that Uzbekistan’s efforts to export fresh apricots to the markets, other than the CIS, were unsuccessful due to lack of knowledge about fruit and vegetable marketing and difficult export regulations in Uzbekistan (it is possible to export only under conditions of full payment in advance). There as well are problems with understanding produce quality and safety. In addition, logistics are difficult and expensive, as Uzbekistan has no access to sea and is far from key sales markets.
Nevertheless, EastFruit analysts believe that Uzbekistan can successfully develop stonefruit export, as its climate conditions enable the country to start harvesting earlier than in other countries of the Northern Hemisphere. Thus, Uzbekistani exporters can count on high prices for early produce that, however, imply investments in production quality, season prolongation and, of course, produce marketing.