17 Apr 2024 17:03

Vegetable prices in Ukraine to be stable, fluctuations expected within 10%-15% in 2024 - Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) - Vegetable prices in Ukraine have stabilized and should not be as high as they were in 2022 and 2023, and their fluctuations are expected to be within 10%-15%, Ukrainian media quoted First Deputy Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Taras Vysotsky as saying in televised remarks.

Vegetable production in the parts of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions controlled by Kiev, which traditionally were among major producers of open-ground and greenhouse vegetables, dropped considerably in 2022, he said.

"This influenced the prices not only in 2022 but also in spring 2023. As the principal amount of crops is harvested once a year, less of them were produced and consumed in 2022," Vysotsky said.

This situation produced a price hike for some vegetables in spring 2023, he said.

Ukrainian farmers expanded the size of farmland under open-ground vegetables in central and western regions and in Kiev-controlled southern regions in 2023, Vysotsky said. "Gross output of vegetables has grown substantially. We do see that the prices, say, for onions, carrots, beets, and cabbage have dropped by half or even by two-thirds," he said.

Speaking of prospects for the 2024 vegetable harvest, Vysotsky said it is tentatively expected to be quite good, and unlike in 2022, there should be no shortage in vegetables this or next year.

The prices for most of the staple vegetables in Ukraine are close to their production costs, enabling farmers to earn some income, he said.

"Any significant price hike is unlikely now. They [the prices] have leveled out, they're not as high as they were," he said.

Asked whether consumer inflation, the cost of fuel, and the exchange rate of the national currency could affect the prices for vegetables grown this year, Vysotsky replied that, despite the fluctuations in prices for all these elements, this would not affect prices for vegetables.

"There might be changes within 10% to 15% later. But there's no reason to expect that the current vegetable prices might soar or drop several times from the current ones," he said.