In 2022, Ukraine may face a deficit of vegetables due to the Russian invasion. According to experts, the supplies of eggplants, tomatoes and peppers will decrease the most. Therefore, the prices on these vegetables will increase.
The situation may worsen if the majority of migrants return to Ukraine: prices will rise even more.
According to the Victory Gardens, Ukraine will lose a significant share of crops – 71% of eggplant, 68% tomato, 58% pepper, 46% onion, 45% cucumber, 39% zucchini, 38% carrot, 38% potato, 35% beet and 32% cabbage.
Experts' calculations rely on data as of the end of March. Although the Russian troops withdrew from Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy, it is unlikely to cause a significant improvement.
Firstly, the fields in the liberated territory need to be de-mined.
Secondly, many vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers are grown in the south of the country, where a significant part of the territory remains occupied by Russians, many areas are under constant fire.
Thirdly, the cost of vegetable production is tied to the prices for energy, transportation, utility services, electricity, etc. which are growing.
What vegetables in Ukraine may rise in price and how much
Vegetable prices in Ukraine soared the moment a full-scale invasion started. According to the State Statistics Service, the prices in March 2022 against December 2021, jumped as follows:
- potato went up by 33.6% to 11.70 UAH per kilo,
- onion – by 60.6% to 19.42 UAH per kilo,
- beet – by 64.2% to 21.91 UAH per kilo,
- carrot doubled in price – up to 20.06 UAH per kilo,
- white cabbage also rose in price by 100% – to 23.34 UAH per kilo,
Prices for tomatoes rose sharply. According to minfin.com.ua, the portal which monitors prices in supermarkets, in April tomatoes went up by 53.22%, in March – by another 8.38%. The average price for red tomatoes on April 17 was 80.23 UAH per kilo, pink tomatoes – 157.20 UAH per kilo.
Price forecasts: Refugees and weather to affect cost of vegetables
At the same time, in different regions of Ukraine the production of some vegetables may exceed, while the others may face a shortage and price fluctuations, Inna Salo, Head of the Department of Pricing and Agricultural Market at the NSC Institute of Agrarian Economics, explained to Focus media.
Further dynamics of vegetable prices will depend on two factors: supply-and-demand balance, and weather, predicts Svitlana Lytvyn, an analyst at the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UABC).
"If the weather favors the farmers, there will be no significant increase in vegetable prices. Should many Ukrainians stay abroad, the demand will reduce. And even with a limited supply, prices will not skyrocket due to a decrease in the purchasing power of Ukrainians during the war and after its end," said Litvin.
However, if all forced migrants abruptly return to Ukraine, the shortage of vegetables may worsen, and prices will become unaffordable for most citizens.