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Bulgaria: Greenhouse cucumbers expected to remain expensive
Greenhouse cucumber prices will remain relatively high in 2018; about 1.10 Lev/kg (0.56 Euro), although this will still be about 11% lower than a year earlier.
This has been predicted by the Agricultural Economics Research Centre (CAPA) of the Institute of Agricultural Economics.
The average purchase price of cucumbers in 2017, according to NSI data, is about 1.23 Lev/kg (0.63 Euro); an increase of 18% compared to 2016. Bulgaria's cucumber production in 2018 is expected to amount to 67 thousand tonnes and imports will fluctuate around 18,000 tonnes; that is, about one-fifth of the domestic market, analysts say.
Also according to preliminary estimates from CAPA, the total tomato production in 2018 will reach 138 thousand tonnes, while imports may exceed 66 thousand tonnes. Greenhouse production is expected to amount to 63 thousand tonnes; 7% more than in 2017.
Last year, the average purchase price for tomatoes stood at about 1 Lev/ kg (0.51 Euro); 16% more than in 2016. This year, a slight decrease in average prices is expected (no greater than 5%).
CAPA's forecast for peppers points to the annual production reaching 76,000 tonnes, which would be about 7% more than in 2017. Producer prices are expected to move around 0.70 Lev/kg (0.36 Euro), while in 2017 they were close to 0.72 Lev/kg (0.37 Euro).
One of the biggest issues for vegetable producers is the considerable price fluctuations. For example, at the beginning of February this year, Spanish cucumbers cost around 1 Euro/kg, but at the end of the month, they fell to about 0.60 Euro/kg.
Alhough falling, the prices of cucumbers in the EU in the middle of February 2018 were still about 30% higher than in Turkey and Iran. On Eastern European markets, cucumber exports from Spain are available at 1.40-1.60 Euro/kg, and from Turkey at 1.00-1.20 Euro/kg.
Tomato prices on the regional market are more stable compared to last year, mostly due to weaker competition from Turkey and Morocco and the more stable weather this winter.
Publication date: 3/7/2018
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