The year 2020 proved to be unfavorable for Bulgarian vegetable cultivation. That's according to data from the Dutch National Statistical Institute. Overall output will fall by ten percent. That's mainly due to a reduction in physical production. Annual production is expected to decrease by 17% compared to 2019. Vegetable prices will be eight to ten percent higher than last year.
For 2020, vegetable farming's share in that country's production remains at about 7.5%. In gross agricultural production, it will be about 5.1%. That's slightly down from 2019's 5.2%. According to initial estimates, tomato cultivation is one of the most affected sectors. It has a yearly decrease of up to 30%.
CAPA analysis shows that Bulgarian vegetable areas are sensitive to changes in (mostly area-related) aid. Say there's to be a five percent increase in area subsidies. That's what's expected from the Multiannual Financial Framework. Then, the total vegetable area could increase by three to four percent to 44,000 ha. That's over the 2021-2027 period compared to 2018. With a 15% increase in grants, these areas could reach 50,000 ha.
Winter purchasing should remain close to the last five year's average. A significant increase isn't expected. That's due to decreased demand and pressure from imported products.
In November, wholesale and retail prices for basic vegetables rose sharply. Retail cucumbers were up 29%; wholesale imported tomatoes, 43%. However, weak demand in December is lowering prices. Wholesale prices are about 12% below those of one year earlier. But, retail price levels are similar to the same month last year.