Fruit and vegetable prices dropping in Eastern Europe

Several Eastern European countries, like Poland and Bulgaria, are facing difficulties on the fresh market, with prices heavily under pressure. Producers in the Czech suffer from competition from other European countries and have left part of the pepper harvest to rot in the plantations. 

Bulgaria 
Prices are falling. Polish tomato prices have dropped by 33.6% and cucumbers have dropped by 20%, with wholesale prices down to 40 cents per kilo. The price of Polish cucumbers dropped by 10% to 50 cents per kilo. Also the prices for peppers, cabbage and carrots have dropped. 
Apple prices are also almost 20% lower; last week, the price stood at 56 cents per kilo. Watermelons cost 15 cents per kilo, down 12%, and melons stand at 36 cents per kilo (-5%).

Poland 
For the first time since 1982, Poland has had to face deflation. The prices for goods and services decreased by 0.2% in July, while a month earlier they had increased by 0.3%. According to Polish economists, the sanctions against Russia will lead to further price declines.
Poland has been hit hard by the Russian sanctions, boycotted products account for 78% of food exports, representing 0.6% of total Polish exports. 

The Eastern European country has to deal with surpluses in products like cherries, red peppers, celery and cabbage. The surplus of apples and pears, with the harvest is about to start, is also expected to grow. Due to the large volumes, the market will become saturated, so growers will have to offer their products for even lower prices.

Between 30 July and 7 August, pepper prices in supermarkets dropped by 36%, cabbages dropped by 8%; cherries and apricots registered 16% lower prices, and blackberry prices fell by 2%. In addition to the Russian ban, the large harvest volumes also play a relevant role in this. 

According to economists, inflation in Poland will reach 0.5% this year, and the situation threatens to spread to neighbouring Czech Republic.

Czech Republic 
Growers in the Czech Republic already have problems. Pepper growers left hundreds of tonnes of peppers to rot because prices are too low. The growers accuse retailers of purchasing products from other countries such as the Netherlands and Hungary, while domestic products are wasted. 

Czech supermarkets sign contracts with growers in e.g. the Netherlands and Hungary to ensure year-round vegetable supply, but Czech growers would prefer for domestic products to be purchased during season, as it happened in the past. In response to the low prices, Czech production volumes will drop by 30%. The growers focus their hopes on the consumer that "will not accept the situation as soon as they realise that the stores only supply expensive imported vegetables."


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