Ukraine currently exports hardly any vegetables to the countries of the Middle East, despite the fact that there are opportunities for this and the markets are extremely attractive, as explained to the portal AgriGator by Andrei Yarmak, economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“In June-August, it is very hot in the Gulf countries and North Africa. That is why, the production of vegetables there is almost impossible or economically feasible in this period. At the same time, there is an excess supply of greenhouse tomatoes on the Ukrainian market, and after August, the same applies to the open ground production. This has a negative impact on domestic tomato prices during the summer months," says Andrey Yarmak.
At this time, prices for tomatoes in the Middle East are high enough to justify regular exports to this region from Ukraine. The Netherlands and Spain successfully deliver tomatoes to the region in the summer, but premium quality products are expected. Interestingly, one of the countries exporting tomatoes to this region is Albania. Moreover, tomatoes in the Middle East are exported to more distant countries, such as India and Malaysia. The region spends about $ 0.5 billion to import greenhouse tomatoes and the main importers are Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
FAO, EBRD, EU4Business and the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPOA) have offered representatives of the largest supermarket chains and fruit and vegetable importers in the region to meet at Fruit Trade Ukraine - Middle East in Dubai on March 28, 2019. Participation in the event is free on condition that the company is ready to export regularly.