Onion imports to Ukraine significantly increased to 35.400 tons
According to official statistics, in January and February 2019, Ukraine imported 35.400 tons of onions and set a record for entire history of the country's independence. For comparison, in the first two months of last year only 565 tons of onions were imported into the Ukrainian market, analysts at the Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA) report.
However, the exports of these products from Ukraine has decreased. According to official reports, Ukrainian exporters have shipped only 275 tons of onions to foreign markets since the beginning of the year, which is almost by 90% less than in January-February last year.
“The increase in onion imports in Ukraine is due both to a decrease in domestic onion production in Ukraine and to a rather high export demand for Ukrainian onions in the first half of the season,” comments Tetiana Smirnova, analyst at the Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA). “However, as we see from the export figures, the main volumes of export quality onions had been sold to foreign markets before the New Year, whereas now Ukrainian farmers mainly offer low-quality onions with limited storage life to sell out as quickly as possible.”
The expert said, it will be possible to observe a downward trend in onion imports to Ukraine by the end of March. According to market operators, now there are not high demand for imported onions, because consumers have a cheaper alternative which is local non-standard produce. As a result, wholesale companies have not yet sold the volumes that they imported at the beginning of the month, so they are still refusing to new purchase.