Egypt has more than tripled its exports of frozen vegetables to the US, which is the largest importer of this product in the world, reports EastFruit. As a result, the country ranked eighth in the list of suppliers of this product to the US market in 2022!
According to the results of 2022, Egypt exported almost 29,000 tonnes of frozen vegetables to the US, while five years ago the volume of supplies did not reach even 9,000 tonnes. However, in 2023, Egyptian exports to the US market decreased and by the end of the year may reach the level of 2020-2021.
“Unfortunately for Egyptian exporters, they will not be able to set a new record for supplies to the US market of frozen vegetables in 2023. First, the sharp devaluation of the Egyptian pound in 2022, which initially led to an increase in the attractiveness of Egyptian products abroad, a year later began to negatively affect exports due to rising prices for imported components in the production structure. Second, the cultivation of vegetables for freezing in Egypt was severely affected by drought and water scarcity, which intensified in recent years. Third, the demand for imported frozen vegetables in the US fell sharply, as sales of all food products in the North American market declined due to food inflation,” explains Yevhen Kuzin, Fruit & Vegetable Market Analyst at EastFruit.
In June 2023, prices for frozen vegetables in the US increased by 18% compared to the same month last year. The primary reason for the price increase were unfavorable weather conditions in California (one of the key suppliers of vegetables for freezing in the US). In winter, some areas of the state received a record amount of precipitation, and in many places vegetable plantations were completely flooded.
The negative weather factors were compounded by rising labor, fertilizer, and other costs in vegetable production, as well as the general negative effect of slowing global economic growth. As a result, for January-September of the current year, the US imported 680 thousand tons of frozen vegetables, which is 5% less than in the same period of 2022, and actually corresponds to a three-year minimum.