W36: Apple Update

In W36 in the apple landscape, a Polish fruit exporter anticipates a 30% reduction in the 2022/23 apple production in Poland due to adverse cold weather conditions and a lower yield of Jonaprince, Ligol, and Idared apple varieties. Additionally, severe scab infestations have led to empty industrial gardens, negatively impacting the processing industry. Due to the extreme weather conditions, chemical treatments are necessary for long-term storage of apples in refrigerators because it is difficult and expensive to prevent apple scab infections.

Moreover, the apple orchards in the Pelion region of Greece have been severely damaged by a thunderstorm in the East Mediterranean, causing extensive damage to public infrastructure, households, and agricultural cultivation. Large landslides have caused significant damage to the region’s infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply. Many orchards, including those that were about to harvest chestnuts and apples, were not spared the damage. The exact extent of the damage is still unknown as efforts are focused on assisting affected civilians.

Moldova's apple harvest season has started with minimal delays, and early apple varieties will continue to be harvested until Nov-23. The Fruit Association of Moldova anticipates a harvest of approximately 548 thousand tons in 2023, marking a 23% year-on-year (YoY) increase but still 4% lower than the five-year average. Despite a reduction of 2 thousand hectares (ha) of apple orchards during the 2022/23 period, the planting of 305 ha of intensive and super-intensive apple orchards has expanded the total area to 49.2 thousand ha.

Destatis reported that the apple harvest in Germany is expected to reach 889.3 thousand tons in the 2023 season, nearly 17% lower than the apple harvest of 1 million tons in 2022. Compared to the initial forecast made at Prognosfruit in early Aug-23, the decline in Germany's apple harvest is more pronounced. Prognosfruit had projected a decrease of slightly over 11% in the German apple harvest compared to the previous year, but the actual decline has now reached nearly 17%.

The Korea Rural Economic Institute reported that the wholesale price of apples (Hongro) in Sept-23 was USD 52.69 per 10 kilograms (kg) to USD 55.70/10kg (KRW 70,000/10kg to 74,000/10kg), a 9% YoY increase. Apple production in Korea has decreased by 21% YoY while the demand has increased ahead of the holiday, and wholesale prices are predicted to more than double compared to the same month in 2022.

Lastly, due to heavy rains, India's apple production is expected to decrease by 45% to 50% this 2023. Kashmir Valley and Himachal Pradesh are the two most affected regions, which account for more than 70% of the total production. The rains have led to heavy fungal scab disease, causing a significant loss of produce and additional B and C-grade material. Additionally, the rains have blocked critical highway routes for transferring produce to the market, resulting in wasted produce. This has led to a significant impact on the local apple industry.

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