In the last year, almost all basic vegetables have become more expensive. According to traders and experts, prices are rising slowly but surely, and for the past 12 months, the jump in goods such as cucumbers and potatoes is about 30%. However, the record holder is the cabbage, which price has jumped by nearly 58 percent. According to data from the State Commission on Commodity Exchanges and Markets, compared to January last year, potatoes are more expensive by 20%, onions – by 10 percent, and tomatoes – by between 13% and 17%.
Against this background, Bulgaria may be left without Bulgarian vegetable production in 2022 due to the energy crisis.
Some consumers are already saying that high prices for fruits and vegetables will make them lose some products.
“We do not observe shock price movements, but on the other hand they are smooth and constant, which is not a good trend,” said Vladimir Ivanov of the State Commission on Commodity Exchanges and Markets.
According to some retailers at this stage, the new prices are still not felt in people’s pockets. According to others, the increase is significant for the end customer at the moment.
Apart from being a trader, Krassimir Savov is also a producer. The goods he sells are entirely Bulgarian. “There is another week until we sell this product, then in March we come to the market to work again,” he said. And he would not sell until March, because his production was cleared. He cites inflation as the main reason for this. He says the money he spends on fuel is also more than before, as he travels to the capital from another city. And as the production process became more expensive, so did customer prices. Krassimir predicts that the crisis will block the work of other producers.
Ivan Kaburov runs a greenhouse in Malo Konare. This winter, unlike other times, it is empty. “Last year, tomatoes were planted here, which at that time were already one meter. At the moment, the greenhouse is absolutely empty, clean and all the bills we have made show that it is unprofitable to plant early products,” says Ivan. He added that the production process has become more expensive mainly due to increased heating costs in the greenhouse. Therefore, it will not work until the weather warms up to limit costs. His colleagues will do the same.
As a result of the lack of Bulgarian production, imports from abroad would remain “the king of the market”. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, for the period January-September last year, about 228 thousand tons of fresh vegetables and nearly 263 thousand tons of fresh fruits were imported to Bulgaria. The lack of greenhouse production in Bulgaria would soon lead to bankruptcies and mass layoffs, warn traders and experts.