Excess Rain is Delaying Vegetable Harvests in Russia

Fresh Beetroot
The harvest of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and beets has been postponed across Russia due to excessive rains. The carrot prices jumped by 22% at once, and the price for potatoes increased by 8% in the last month. The fall in production is due to continuous rains and limited production of vegetables due to low profitability for the farmers in Russia. With the limited supply and soaring prices of vegetables, Russia’s imports have also increased in the first eight months of 2021 compared to the previous season.

Analysis of vegetable and fruit in Russia in the last few months shows that the prices have witnessed several unusual price anomalies. A sharp increase in prices has come after continuous rains which resulted in delaying the harvest of the vegetables and fruits. Across Russia, the actual rainfall was 13.55% more than the average rainfall recorded during the previous years. Most of the vegetables have risen in price by 1.5 to 2 times compared to last year and have set new records for September. The summer rains when the vegetables had to be harvested, affected both volumes and quality of the grown produce. The few vegetables with the most volatile prices were potatoes, carrots, onions, and white cabbage which also witnessed a spike in imports during the first 8 months of 2021 in comparison to the same period in 2020.

Source: WAP.

In June 2021, prices for beetroots in Russia reached an unprecedented level of USD 1.54 per kg. Russian officials were hopeful that the new harvest will significantly reduce the prices which turned out to be true in July and August. However, the continuous rain started delaying the harvest and pushing up the prices again. Similarly, the carrot prices jumped by 22% at once, and the price for potatoes increased by 8% during the last month. Despite the rise in potato prices, the demand in Russia remains quite high. Wholesale companies continue to actively purchase potatoes for storage.

Source: Tridge. Price Charts

Vegetable traders are in fear that there will not be enough high-quality potatoes and vegetables that can be stored until spring by the end of the season. The stocks will fall down significantly and the prices are likely to increase even more in the coming months. It has been emphasized time and again that bad weather coupled with the low interest of farmers due to vegetable cultivation has reduced the production. The vegetable growing crisis in Russia has been going on since 2019 and it was caused by a long period of low prices and low profitability for the farmers.

As a consequence of the limited supply in the Russian vegetable market, potato imports from Russia increased by 70% during the first 7 months of 2021 while the carrot imports increased by 19%. The largest volumes of potatoes were imported from Egypt while the carrots were sourced from Israel, China, Egypt, and Belarus. Despite the considerable increase in import volume, the supply was not enough to meet the current demand. If the situation continues to be the same, prices for vegetables across Russia will continue to grow in the coming months.


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