2 Apr 2024 16:01

Ukrainian cheesemakers may lose domestic market to Polish cheese - analysts

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) - Ukraine imported a record amount of Polish cheese in March 2024, compared to the pre-crisis period, while European cheese, including cheese made in Poland, is a much cheaper rival of Ukrainian products, Ukrainian media quoted the Infoagro industry analytical agency as saying.

"The Ukrainian cheese market seems to have reached a turning point. Domestic cheesemakers will either be able to retain the market or will be squeezed out by European cheese suppliers," the analysts said.

The market will be re-divided again if the trend persists, they said.

"Consumers choose European cheese more often, as it is mostly cheaper than domestic products. This is why one should not be surprised to see more Polish (and not just Polish) cheese on store shelves," the experts said.

They do not rule out that Poland increased cheese production 10% in 2024 precisely for the deliveries to Ukraine.

"The difference in increased production in Poland is almost equal to the total production of similar cheeses in Ukraine. This should alarm domestic cheesemakers," the experts said.

Besides, the price of imported European cheese cleared by customs is still below the distribution price asked by domestic cheesemakers, they said.

As reported, Ukraine boosted cheese imports 42% in January 2024, compared to the respective period of 2020.