The demand for the Ukrainian honey is decreasing on the international market, and the prices too. The main buyers of the sweet product, the EU and the US, have formed large stocks of honey, which means they are buying less, says Agravery.
If in early 2018 the export price for Ukrainian honey was 2 €/kg, then in July-August it fell to €1.4. In the domestic market, beekeepers sell it even for €1.16-1.22, which roughly corresponds to 38-40 UAH/kg.
This price forces manufacturers to restrain sales. They explain it by the fact that in this year the yield of honey fell due to the mass death of bees, and the cost of production increased.
Although, according to the calculations of specialists, at an effective apiary, the cost price of a kilogram of honey does not exceed 0.5-0.7 € / kg. It means that everything more of this sum is the beekeepers’ profit.
In the meantime, analysts do not see any prospects for a rise in the price of honey on both the domestic and foreign markets yet. The exporters also do not want to work at a loss and to make purchases more expensive, because the costs of logistics have grown, as well as the cost of laboratory tests.
On the other hand, external contracts will have to be fulfilled. Otherwise, foreign buyers will find more reliable suppliers. Beekeepers will have to sell honey in the domestic market, which means that prices will fall even more.
Sergei Terentyev, the chairman of the Union of Beekeepers of the Kiev region, believes that exporters themselves are knocking down prices for honey. “In this situation, beekeepers will not sell honey, and exporters will have to pay fines. We understand that exports are important, but at such a price there is no prospect for the development of the industry,” he said.
Terentyev adds that beekeeping requires large investments. An apiary for 100 bee families will cost about 0.5 million UAH. Therefore, the acceptable price, according to him, is at least 50-60 UAH/kg.