Bulgaria's vegetable imports and exports have increased compared to the previous year, although in the case of fruits, the picture is exactly the opposite, according to data from the operational analysis of the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
According to preliminary data of the National Statistical Institute (NSI), in the period January - August 2020, the country imported 190.1 thousand tons of fresh vegetables, which is 3.1% more on an annual basis. In the same period, the import of fresh fruits reached 227.6 thousand tons; 1.6% less than last year.
"The slight growth in the import of fresh vegetables is mainly due to the increase in the supply of tomatoes (by 4.2 thousand tons; +7.3%), cucumbers and gherkins (by 3.1 thousand tons; +20.7%), peppers (by 2.7 thousand tons: +16.8%) and potatoes (by 2.7 thousand tons; +8.8%)" said the analysis.
At the same time, the import of onions has decreased by 21%.
In the first eight months of 2020, there has been a slight increase in the export of fresh vegetables; up by 0.9%, to 27.7 thousand tons.
The exported volumes of tomatoes and cabbage have increased by 2.3% and 26.8%, respectively. However, the export of legumes (mainly peas) fell by 56.9%, and that of potatoes by 86%
About half of all fresh fruit imports in the first eight months of 2020 correspond to citrus fruits and bananas, with a total of 112.7 thousand tons, which is 7.4% more than a year earlier. There has been a significant decrease in the supply of apples (-34.9%). Looking at other important fruits, the import of peaches, strawberries, melons, apricots, cherries and sour cherries has shrank by between 11.7% and 88.3%, while that of watermelons, nuts, grapes and pears has increased by between 13.2% and 28.5%.
The drop (-7.3%) in the total volume of fresh fruits exported on an annual basis is mainly a result of the lower shipments of watermelons (by 5.2 thousand tons; -57.6%) and cherries (by 1.3 thousand tons; -61.4%).
The sale of apricots, apples and nuts has been reduced by between 23.3% and 32.4%.
Of the fruits produced in the country, the most remarkable is the growth in the export of peaches (by about 2 thousand tons; nearly a three-fold increase). Moreover, twice as many cherries have been exported compared to the same period in 2019, as well as 27.2% more strawberries, according to the analysis.