Vegetable inflation: prices for greenhouse vegetables in Ukraine could break records in 2022

EastFruit analysts draw attention to the threat of a sharp rise in prices for greenhouse vegetables in winter and spring 2022. At the same time, price levels may turn out to be too high for most Ukrainian consumers, who have already gotten used to eating fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers all year round.

The prices for greenhouse vegetables have started to grow rapidly now. Therefore, it is possible that the price levels for greenhouse cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers will set records even before the new year.

Among the main reasons for a sharp rise in prices, EastFruit experts point that there was a sharp rise in prices for gas and other energy resources, and, as a result, an increase in the cost of generating heat and electricity for greenhouses. Moreover, there was also a sharp rise in the cost of imported greenhouse vegetables due to the rise in the cost of international transport.

The rise in the cost of material and technical resources (MTR), such as fertilizers and plant protection products (PPP) certainly did not help, nor did the rising labor costs.

“It should be remembered that Ukraine is integrated into the European market for greenhouse vegetables, therefore, the difficulties experienced by Ukrainian producers are inherent in greenhouses in other countries. Given how expensive gas is, greenhouses in Germany, Poland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and other EU countries are already seriously affected. Thus, prices for vegetables are already growing everywhere, and imports from relatively warm countries such as Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Uzbekistan, and Israel will rise sharply, even without taking into account the growth in transportation costs,” explains Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the Investment Centre of Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO).

“It is possible that Ukrainian greenhouse complexes will be forced to start a new production season later in 2022. The number of imported vegetables can also rise sharply - after all, they were incredibly cheap in 2021. This means that a decrease in the production of greenhouse vegetables in relatively warm countries cannot be ruled out, which will only aggravate the situation with high prices,” says the FAO expert.

Turkey remains the main supplier of greenhouse vegetables to Ukraine, which accounted for 86% of all imports in the 7 months of 2021. Poland is second with 4%. Thus, 90% of all imported greenhouse vegetables were imported to Ukraine from these two countries. At the same time, Turkey increased supplies by 36%, while Poland reduced by 58%.

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