Uzbekistan from being a leader in apricot exports last year, became an importer of this fruit.
Now apricots in Uzbekistan sold at a price 6.5 times higher compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. In 2020, the republic ranked second after Spain in terms of exports of this fruit.
According to the analysis by EastFruit, in Uzbekistan there are virtually no export shipments of fresh apricots from the country in 2021, despite the fact that now the export season should be in full swing. Moreover, due to high prices for apricots in the domestic market and relatively low prices in neighboring Tajikistan, Uzbekistan is importing apricots from the neighboring country this year.
The main reason, of course, lies in the frosts, which have strong influence to the harvest in Uzbekistan. Two waves of frosts caused serious damage to the crop of stone fruits in late February and mid-March of this year, especially apricots. The loss of the apricot crop in Uzbekistan was estimated at at least 60-65 percent, while it was noted that the real damage could be even greater. The possible negative impact of bad weather on the quality of Uzbek apricots was also noted.
In Tajikistan, where the loss of apricots was not so significant, the prices of these fruits are in the range of 0.79-1.06 dollars per kg, that is in 3-5 times lower than in Uzbekistan. An additional factor of pressure on the prices of apricots in Tajikistan, is the complete closure of the borders with Kyrgyzstan, through which exports were carried out. Therefore, it is profitably to buy apricots for sale to consumers in Uzbekistan.
According to EastFruit, until 2021, fresh apricot was the fastest-growing position of Uzbek exports among fruits, increasing almost one and a half times annually, despite the global trend of declining export prices for apricots. This year, evidently, everything can change dramatically, and probably world prices for apricot will become record high for the last few seasons.
In 2020, according to Trademap, the export of fresh apricots from Uzbekistan, reached a record 74.5 thousand tons, increasing from 58 thousand tons in 2019, 43 thousand tons in 2018 and 23 thousand tons in 2017. In this way, Uzbekistan took second place in the world in terms exports of apricot and was second only to Spain, which put 96 thousand tons of apricots on foreign markets in 2020. Last year, Uzbekistan surpassed Turkey for the first time in terms of fresh apricot exports. But in 2021, Turkey will reduce the production of dried apricots and dried apricots, because the sale of fresh apricots can earn much more. It is possible that Turkey will become the world's leader in fresh apricot exports in 2021.