W32: Apple Update

In W32 in the apple landscape, European apple production for 2023 is expected to be 11.4 million tons, a 3.3% year-over-year (YoY) decrease, a volume similar to the average of the last three years. The new marketing campaign will begin without stock pressure, as apple stocks in the European Union (EU) were 200 thousand tons less than in 2022. The distribution chain has assumed increased production costs due to raw material and energy cost increases. The demand from the processing industry in Europe and lower Polish production have led to an optimistic scenario for the new marketing campaign for fresh apples.

Furthermore, some European countries are expected to experience a resurgence in apple production in 2023, with France experiencing an 8% increase, resulting in an output of 1.5 million tons. Apple production in Hungary increased by 96%, reaching 550 thousand tons; Portugal had a 7% growth, totaling 313 thousand tons; while Spain achieved a substantial increase of 30%, reaching 436 thousand tons. However, several countries are expected to experience a decline, with Italy's production expected to decrease by 0.4%, Germany an 11% drop, and Poland experiencing an 11% reduction.

The World Apple and Pear Organization (WAPA) announced a forecast of 548 thousand tons of apple production in Moldova in 2023, 23% higher than last year's harvest of 446 thousand tons. Moldova's apple harvest for 2023 is expected to be dominated by Golden Delicious, Gala, Florina, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Jonagold varieties. These varieties are the foundation of Moldova's fruit exports, particularly to new markets like the European Union and the Middle East. Exports to these markets increased significantly from a few percentage points to 14% during the last marketing season, and Moldovan traders are optimistic about solidifying their presence in the European market.

Georgia's 2023 apple harvest is expected to be 100 thousand tons but with lower quality due to climate-induced scab disease. Like last year, May-23 and Jun-23 turned out to be cold and rainy, which may negatively affect the quality of apples in the 2023 season. Moreover, the Georgian government has decided to subsidize the delivery of non-standard apples for processing, allowing for the placement of a non-standard crop in 2023. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia published additional information about the state program on August 7.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's apple prices doubled in 2023, reaching the highest in its history. The price of the Golden variety stood at USD 0.081 per kilogram (UAH 35/kg), while the Idared variety stood at USD 1.21/kg (UAH 44.90/kg). The Red Prince variety stood at USD 1.16/kg (UAH 42.90/kg), Red Chief was USD 1.24/kg (UAH 46/kg), and Jonaprinz stood at USD 1.13/kg (UAH 41.99/kg). This increase is due to slow ripening of fruits due to a cold spring.

Lastly, India's apple harvest is expected to decline by over a third compared to 2022, with an anticipated production of 1.9 million tons. The extreme climatic conditions in Himachal and Kashmir have caused damage to the crop and constrained apple sizes, potentially setting a precedent for future trends.

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