Along with the sharp expansion of area under raspberries in the countries of Central Asia in the recent two years, EastFruit analysts also note progress with the extension of the harvesting season of these trendy berries.
In Uzbekistan, the first batches of raspberries of the new crop have already appeared on the markets and on supermarket shelves. These come from the open field, meaning that the raspberries in Uzbekistan could be harvested as early as the end of April even if grown in rather low-tech unheated tunnels.
Currently, early raspberries in Uzbekistan are sold in a very unusual packaging – solid plastic containers of an unusual shape. The price is always set “per package” without specifying its weight. We weighed the berry, so we know that the net weight of raspberries in such a package ranges from 250 to 300 grams. Accordingly, the retail price for this berry turns out to be rather affordable – at the level of around $5.5 US dollars per kg.
Given that this is a retail price, the wholesale price of raspberries, when sold from the farm, should not exceed $3.5 US dollars per kg. This is very close to the expectations of farmers in neighboring Tajikistan, who planned to sell the first batches of raspberries in the coming days at $3 per kg.
By the way, on Monday, May 23, a unique HortiTech conference will be held in Tashkent, where the best industry experts will show unique opportunities to increase the efficiency of growing raspberries, as well as other fruits and berries through the use of modern digital technologies, such as subsoil pulse drip irrigation, weather stations, soil moisture sensors, drones, agrovoltaics, protected cultivation technologies and production in nethouses, the use of solar panels for irrigation, the use of biological protection methods and many others.
These technologies would definitely have been useful for growers in 2023 since we expect raspberry prices in Uzbekistan to potentially decline much faster than a year earlier because the global supply of raspberries has increased, but the demand for it in the 2022/23 season has fallen sharply. The main reasons for the possible decline in prices for raspberries in the new season are described by us in the material “Raspberries price cycles.”
As we mentioned earlier, raspberries have already overtaken strawberries in terms of the global trade volume in the segment of frozen berries. It is an indication of rather good prospects for the development of the raspberry business in the future, but the year 2023 might be rather tough for growers. We also need to add that IQF freezing in the immediate vicinity of raspberry plantations is very important for the development of a sustainable raspberry business.
For more information: east-fruit.com