BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 25
By Klavdiya Romakayeva - Trend:
Uzbekistan this year imported 8,500 tons of apples from China, although earlier official deliveries of Chinese apples to the country were limited to only tens of tons annually, Trend reports referring to EastFruit.
It is reported that before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the bulk of apple supplies from China to the countries of Central Asia, primarily to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, were actually intended for supplies to Russia, then starting from February through March 2020 this illegal business was suspended due to the closure of borders, higher logistics costs and tougher border controls.
Back in 2019, China lost the ability to supply apples, pears, and some other types of fruits to the Russian market due to repeated violations of the quarantine rules of the country. Until now, deliveries have not been unblocked, and the Chinese apple, in much smaller volumes, enters the Russian market in transit.
At the same time, Uzbekistan in 2020 did not transport Chinese apples to Russia, since it began purchasing it in significant volumes only in the period from April through May when there was a shortage of high-quality fruits of its own production in the domestic market. During the same months, there was no apple export from Uzbekistan to Russia.
Economist of the Investment Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Andrey Yarmak said that the export of summer and even autumn varieties of apples to Russia in summer can be a good niche for Uzbekistan.
“In recent years, the Russian market has seen a decrease in the seasonality of apple consumption, therefore, the sales volumes of these fruits, even in June-August, remain very high,” he said.
Yarmak also added that some farmers in Uzbekistan are already harvesting even Golden Delicious apples at the end of July, which means they can be immediately cooled and exported. Since the investment in storage for late apple varieties is approximately equal to or even exceeds, the investment in the planting of the orchard itself, the ability to supply the apple, as it is called "on wheels", is a huge advantage.
Another important advantage, according to Yarmak, is the high prices for the apple in the summer, because it is supplied to Russia from the very remote countries of the Southern Hemisphere (Chile, South Africa, Argentina, and New Zealand).
“This means that expensive logistics from Uzbekistan will not be such a big obstacle, and the earnings for the manufacturer are higher than when selling late varieties in the autumn and winter periods,” Yarmak explained.
In addition, for several years in a row, an increase in apple supplies from Uzbekistan to Russia during the summer period has been observed. In particular, in 2020, Uzbekistan exported 1,700 tons of apples to Russia in June, 2,600 tons in July, and 363 tons in August. In September and November, deliveries were already minimal.
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