The Ukrainian potato market to depend on small family farms again
The Ukrainian potato market will most likely remain unstable in the upcoming season 2020/21, according to Fruit-Inform. Pricing will mainly depend on weather conditions during growing and involvement of rural population, which accounts for more than 95% of total production in Ukraine.
Fruit-Inform’s fundamental study “The Ukrainian fruit and vegetable production and price forecast for the season 2020/21” shows that professional growers will unlikely expand their areas in a new season. There are not so many farmers that are able to increase their potato production, as prices of high-quality seed potatoes range between 1,200-1,400 euro per tonne in Ukraine, plant protection needs regular and expensive procedures, and some growers use drip irrigation on their plantations.
Meanwhile, recent measures against COVID-19 resulted in an increase in sales through supermarket chains, as food markets were closed in Ukraine. Supermarkets can work only with professional growers, who have all necessary documents for their produce. Taking into account a small share of professional potato growing in Ukraine, domestic supermarkets can hardly satisfy consumers’ demand for potatoes with local produce during the whole season.
That’s exactly why the Ukrainian market analysts believe that it will be small family farms to play an important part in pricing in a new season. Of course, weather conditions should also be taken into account. Potato prices can be even higher year-over-year in Ukraine if rural population will again face bad harvest and importers will still have problems with sales due to quarantine measures in Ukraine. However, if small family farms’ production of potatoes grows, prices will most likely be lower within the whole season.