While during the first two months of 2020, 19,700 tons of frozen raspberries were exported, in the same period in 2021, 3,000 tons less, this year, in the same period, only 11,180 tons were exported, it is stated in the announcement.
Producers believe that the post-covid crisis, the war in Ukraine, a significant increase in the cost of living and the energy crisis have aroused fears of shortages of basic foodstuffs, which has led to major disruptions in the European Union (EU) market.
All that was reflected in the placement of frozen fruit from Serbia on the EU market and the rest of the world.
Additionally, as stated, the cause is that this product cannot be considered a basic foodstuff.
Thus, exports to Germany, the largest market for Serbian raspberries, were halved in January this year compared to January 2021.
Foreign buyers, retail chains and industrial buyers cite changes in customer behavior as the reasons for the decline in exports: consumers due to the high price of frozen raspberries and blackberries, buy cheaper products such as mixes or frozen exotic fruits, focus on basic foodstuffs such as oil, flour and sugar, then, opt for cheaper fruits because of the fear and uncertainty brought by the economic crisis, the PKS announced.
On the other hand, industrial buyers who produce yogurts, jams and similar products, raspberries and blackberries are excluded from the production program due to the high price and are replaced by cheaper fruits.
According to the PKS, research shows that the vast majority of retail chains in Western Europe have seen a drop in sales of frozen fruit, between 10 and 30 percent.
A recent survey by Nielsen IQ shows that sales of frozen fruit in the UK were 11 percent lower than last year.
The biggest drop was recorded in berries, and the smallest in exotic ones, while the increase in the prices of the mentioned products is considered to be the cause.
The frozen strawberry, whose harvest has started in some EU countries, such as Greece and Spain, is of a solid kind, with prices similar to last year, the PKS stated.
It is predicted that lower sales of fresh fruit in Eastern Europe in the further course of the harvest will lead to a slight drop in the price of frozen strawberries.
Despite the war in Ukraine, reports from this country say that about 10 percent more orchards were cultivated compared to last year, and that a solid harvest is expected.
Polish fruit growers are also announcing a record berry harvest and are already concluding pre-contracts at significantly lower prices than last year, the PKS announced.