Honey is a unique natural product produced by bees from the nectar of honey plants. Its healing properties are known since the days of Ancient Egypt. This information is carved on the walls of the pyramids.
Engaged in beekeeping in Russia. Honey in Ancient Russia has always been considered unique in its curative values product and enjoyed great popularity. Honey has always been the best food and drink. Honey comb, honey pies, gingerbreads, honey kvass, pit honey – were real table decoration and served as an excellent treat for honorable guests.
This traditional sphere of activity continues in Ukraine. After gaining independence, Ukraine began to increase exports. Russia bought honey, despite its own production.
With the opening of the European quotas, Ukraine is gradually becoming one of the leading exporters of honey to the EU. Over the past ten years, the volume of Ukrainian honey exports has increased by 7 times, mainly due to supplies to European countries.
And this is not the limit – after all, the EU is considered the world’s largest consumer of honey. Annually 150 thousand tons of sweet product are eaten there – 27% of all world consumption. Thanks to the opening of the roar and the appearance of quotas, Ukrainian producers were able to increase their exports to the EU by 67.6% – more than 1.5 times. In Germany alone, 11.5 thousand tons of honey were exported last year. A little less – 7,8 thousand tons – was sold in Poland.
All this allowed the government to talk about honey as the most promising article of Ukrainian exports. Moreover, the quota of this year for duty-free honey exports to the EU was exhausted in just a few days. Of course, the EU makes high demands on imported products. So, in the beginning of 2016g. exports were stopped because of the discovery of antimicrobials in the consignment of goods imported into the Czech Republic. But soon this issue was settled.
High rates of export growth were expected this year too. However, contrary to expectations, this year the volume of exports should be slightly “go down”. What caused this decline? Especially – in a situation where more and more companies are engaged in the export of honey!
An interesting point: although in the Eastern European countries there is strong own production, they also actively buy honey from Ukraine. At the same time, when entering the European markets, Ukrainian companies are faced with the active trade policy of Chinese and South American companies. A simple comparison – Ukraine ranks fourth in the world in the production of honey (behind China, Argentina and Turkey), but only the sixth – in terms of exports to the EU.
Another problem is that the current growth of Ukrainian honey exports to the EU can to a large extent be “eaten” by a decline in prices. In particular, this is due to the problems of Argentine exports to the US and a partial reorientation to the EU. Its last year’s stocks dumped the market.
Exacerbated competition explains the current decline – both in terms of export volumes, and at sales prices.
However, our largest companies consider internal competition to be the greatest threat. The number of exporting companies from Ukraine increased several times. The main problem is that the increase in demand for Ukrainian honey contributes to the entry of new companies not familiar with its characteristics to this market. Many of them do not have their own production and take orders from the European Union countries for future purchases from small Ukrainian producers. In such a situation, Ukrainian exporters themselves are working to reduce the price, which is hitting the bona fide exporters.
At the same time, manufacturers themselves believe that an exit from this situation may be the strengthening of control over the quality of honey. Among other things, it will allow to close the market before the low-quality Chinese product, which from 2016 will be very easy to be delivered to the market of Ukraine through the EU countries at zero customs rates.
One of the promising areas today is entering the EU markets with products that have significantly higher added value, in particular, not to sell barrels, but in small packages.
Another way out is to obtain certificates of ecological products. Although such certificates are not easy to obtain, they open the market to exporters with less competition and greater cost of production.
Over the past couple of years, Ukrainian honey exports from Ukraine to the EU have made a huge quantitative leap. Now it remains only to prove the quality of products and to protect themselves from unscrupulous exporters.