Blueberries overtook apples in Ukraine's export revenue for the first time in 2023
16 Apr 2024

Blueberries overtook apples in Ukraine's export revenue for the first time in 2023

According to EastFruit analysts, at the end of 2023, fresh blueberries brought Ukraine record export revenue of $16.5 million, which allowed them for the first time to become a more profitable product for exporters than apples. Apple exports over the same period brought Ukrainian exporters $14.1 million in revenue. Now blueberries are second only to walnuts and frozen berries and fruits in terms of annual revenue in the fruit group of products.

Also, blueberries, along with frozen raspberries, are the fastest growing category of fruit and vegetable exports in Ukraine. The annual increase in export earnings from these goods is estimated at 22-28% per year.

Read also: Ukraine has overtaken Poland and Morocco in the export of frozen raspberries to Canada

At the same time, while apples are exported from Ukraine almost all year round, blueberries cannot be stored for long periods of time, and their export season in Ukraine usually lasts from July to October. Accordingly, this amount of revenue is generated in just 3-4 months. In general, it is not surprising that blueberries are still of interest to investors in Ukraine, who are actively attracting grant funds to create new blueberry plantations.

“Blueberries undoubtedly have great prospects for growth in consumption on the world market. This berry is still little known to consumers in many countries, but those who try it usually start buying it regularly. It is convenient for consumers because it is less perishable than most other berries and it can be grown in almost any country in the world, because there are many varieties of blueberries adapted to different climatic conditions,” says Andriy Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Ministry. UN organizations (FAO).

The increase in blueberry exports from Ukraine occurs against the backdrop of the first-ever decline in the volume of world trade in this berry. At the same time, many market participants believe that prices for this berry will remain relatively high in the new season.

Traditionally, Ukraine exports the bulk of blueberries to the Polish market, which even began to approach the status of a net importer of blueberries against this background. However, in 2023, the process of diversifying the export of this berry from Ukraine finally began. Against the background of a sharp decline in the volume of blueberry exports to Poland, its supplies to the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany and Spain also sharply increased, i.e. to traditional Polish blueberry markets. But the growth in exports of Ukrainian blueberries to Georgia, which itself is rapidly increasing the export of this berry, has raised many questions among market experts.