The Republic of Belarus increased its export of onions 4 times in 2019
The situation with onion export from Belarus in 2019
The production of onions in Belarus not only fully meets the country's needs, but also allows it to have free resources to export its products to other countries. According to analysts, the favorable situation on the European market of fruits and vegetables in the first half of 2019 allowed Belarus to take one of the leading positions in terms of volumes of exported onions in the region. Thus, the export of the product in the first half of 2019 amounted to more than 20 thousand tons, which is almost four times more than in the same period of the previous year. "This is primarily due to abnormally hot weather conditions in the summer of 2018. Then the drought-affected most European countries, which are key suppliers of onions to the EU. These countries are primarily Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. As a result, the supply of vegetables from these countries fell sharply. At the same time, the weather conditions in Belarus were quite favorable. It enabled the country to export its products in large quantities," says FAO economist Andrei Ermak. The main importers of Belarusian onions were Serbia, Romania, Moldova and Poland, where prices were record high. The product was also supplied to many other countries in Eastern and Southern Europe and Western Asia.
The situation with the import of onions into Belarus in 2019
Despite high export figures, the volume of onion imports remains at a fairly high level. Thus, in the first half of 2019 the country imported almost 30% more onions than in the same period last year. According to official statistics, the main importers of onions to Belarus are Russia, China and Egypt, which provide more than half of the supply. Vegetables are also imported from India, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and other countries. This is primarily due to the active growth of prices for products, which leads to the need to consider imports of onions from Central Asian countries, where there is an oversupply of goods and prices are much lower. At the same time, onion prices in the EU countries are much higher. Thus, if in Poland 1 kg of onion costs about 30 U.S. cents, in Uzbekistan it can be bought for only 10 U.S. cents. This difference in price encourages Belarus to export its goods to European countries and to buy cheaper products from Asia itself.