Along with viticulture, the citrus industry can also face the challenges of selling products this year that, despite the expected problems with sales, expects a good harvest.
Otar Putkaradze, the head of the exporting company “Shalta 21”, says that 80% of the company’s exports account for Ukraine, and because of the difficult political and economic situation in the country, the demand for citrus fruits can be significantly reduced. According to him, in 2014 the company exported 4.3 thousand tons of citrus to Ukraine which is significantly less than in 2013, and in 2015 demand is likely to be even lower. “In Ukraine, the purchasing power of the population has reduced sharply, so we are waiting for the sharp decline in sales,” – the businessman notes.
Apart from Ukraine and Russia, Georgian citrus are exported to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Belarus. Economic difficulties in Russia and Ukraine have created the problem for Georgian wine exports. According to forecasts for 2015, due to this a demand for grapes will decrease. It is expected that this in turn will lead to lower purchasing prices for grapes. In the past year the price of grapes rose sharply, as demand grew along with an increase in exports of Georgian wine to Russia.