Taiwan imported 131.2 thousand metric tons (mt) of apples in the 2022/23 campaign, with a forecast for 130 thousand mt for the 2023/24 campaign. The United States (US) remains the largest apple exporter to Taiwan, but Japan, New Zealand, and Chile are growing their market share. Taiwan's small-scale domestic apple production accounts for only 1% of the total consumption. Total apple consumption in Taiwan is expected to decrease slightly to 131.3 thousand mt due to reduced supply in the US and New Zealand. US apple prices are predicted to remain high due to weather-related issues and strong local demand. Taiwan is a primary export destination for New Zealand apples, and their prices are forecast to rise, although supply remains sufficient.
China's apple production for the 2022/23 season is estimated at 44.5 million tons due to crop failure and tightening farmland use policies. Fuji apples dominate, accounting for 70% of total production. Late-maturing varieties hold 80% market share, while early-maturing varieties have limited storage suitability. Apple prices have remained high due to reduced domestic supply and production costs, with second-grade apples reaching USD 1.24 per kilogram (CNY 8.8 /kg).
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts a 1% year-over-year (YoY) increase in China's apple production to 45 million tons in the 2023/24 season. However, apple imports may decline by 20% YoY due to reduced supplies and increased prices from major exporting countries. Challenges in major apple-producing areas include low temperatures and hail in Shaanxi, Shandong, and Gansu, with the latter experiencing severe frost and a potential 30% YoY drop in production. Despite these challenges, normal growing conditions in other major regions are expected to contribute to an excellent overall harvest. The projected apple production for China in the 2023/24 season represents a 1% YoY increase. Still, abnormal weather conditions have led to a decline in overall apple quality, with smaller fruits and issues like fruit rust.
Turkey's export-quality apples are experiencing dynamic price changes due to supply issues, leading local traders to import apples from Ukraine and Moldova for re-exports. The decline in Indian apple harvests has increased demand for Turkish apples, with Turkey exporting 118 thousand tons in the last season. Despite challenges, Turkish traders are capitalizing on export opportunities and are increasing re-exports. Ukraine emerged as the leading supplier of apples to Turkey, exporting over 500 tons in the 2022/23 season. Ukraine suppliers share export earnings with Turkish traders.
Moldova Moldovan Fruit Producers and Exporters Association predicts 505 thousand tons of apples will be harvested in 2023, slightly lower than the previous estimate of 548 thousand tons. The lack of rainfall in Aug-23 and Sep-23 may have contributed to this. However, the 2023 apple harvest is higher than the previous season and has an estimated export volume of 185 thousand tons for the 2023/24 season. The war in Ukraine and the Russian embargo on Moldovan fruit imports have shifted export destinations, with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries now representing 99% of Moldova's apple exports.
Polish industrial apple prices have significantly decreased, with processors informing suppliers of price reductions despite growers' expectations of continued price increases. The situation has caused panic among apple growers, who anticipated a decrease in supply and further price increases. However, processors believe they have accumulated sufficient stock and are concerned about margins. The Ukrainian market remains lower than the Polish market, with enough raw materials and high prices for processing. Poland and Ukraine are among the top global exporters in apple juice concentrate exports, surpassing China.