Exports of fresh fruits and vegetables moved into positive territory in the first two months of 2023.
According to the latest ELSTAT data, produced by the Association of Hellenic Fruit, Vegetable and Juice Exporting Companies INCOFRUIT – HELLAS, shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables in January and February 2023 increased by 29% in volume compared to the same months of 2022 reaching 349,323 tons. Likewise, the value of exports in the first two months of 2023 increased by 28.7%, compared to the same period in 2022, already reaching 300,695 million euros.
Data on fruit and vegetable exports
In detail, in the January-February two-month period, vegetable exports increased by 19% in volume compared to the same months in 2022 (42,344 t in 2023 – 35,574 t in 2022) and in value by 31.2%, reaching 47, 5 million euros compared to 36.2 million euros in 2022. Regarding the export of fruit, in the first two months of 2023 it increased in volume by 30.5%, (306,979 tons in 2023 – 235,249 tons in 2022) and 28.2% in value (253.19 million euros in 2023 – 197.4 million euros in 2022).
As George Polychronakis, Special Adviser to the Association of Hellenic Companies for the Export of Fruits, Vegetables and Juices INCOFRUIT – HELLAS, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, “in the field of fruit they star kiwis, strawberries and tangerines while in the fruit and vegetable sector potatoes and tomatoes”.
And he added “this month of January the increase in exports of the last quarter of 2022 continued with respect to the corresponding month of 2021, by 24% in volume and 25.7% in value, slightly improving the weighted average export prices ( +1.4%) without covering, however, the increase in production costs”.
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February developed particularly dynamically, as exports increased by 34.9% in volume and 31.9% in value compared to the same month in 2022, while the weighted average price decreased by 2.2%. “The stability in the weighted average sales prices (-0.2%) in the first two months of this year, however, does not contribute to the main products covering costs that have increased by 30-35%,” stresses Mr Polychronakis.
Exports at a good level also in March, concern about imports
According to provisional data, exports of fresh fruits and vegetables in March seem to have increased by 49.2% in volume compared to the same month in 2022. Winter fruits and mainly citrus and strawberries,” the special adviser to the APE told APE. Giorgos Polychronakis Association -MBE.
According to him, “the market stabilized, but in the weeks leading up to Easter the prices of vegetables rose constantly. However, following the end of the Easter holiday season and increased demand, prices stabilized as markets facing the brunt of shortages expanded imports from third countries and brought in the first fruits and vegetables from spring Summer”.
There was a correspondingly worrying development in imports of fresh fruits and vegetables. Specifically, in the first two months of 2023, imports increased by 9.4% in volume while they decreased by 1.7% in value.
“Atypical products are marketed”
Polychronakis talks about the distribution of non-standardized products directly from the field, without their packaging being made by standardization units and without the prescribed marking for their origin. As he pointed out in statements to APE-MPE “the sector has been shaken by both the increase in production costs (energy, production inputs), the consequences of the lack of land workers and the effects of climate change that have affected the production”.
Mr. Polychronakis emphasizes that controls must be increased to avoid the phenomenon of “trafficking of non-standardized fruits and vegetables mainly to neighboring markets so as not to damage the reputation of excellent Greek products.” Finally, he points out that it will be necessary to support producers due to the increase in production costs, to recover the competitiveness of the products, at the same time that initiatives must be taken to solve the problem that has arisen with the lack of workers in the land. “.