W9: Weekly Apple Update

Published Mar 6, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W9 in the global apple landscape. In summary, Southern hemisphere apple production and exports are expected to rise by 6% and 5% YoY to reach 5.1M MT and 1.68M MT, respectively in 2023. China agreed to buy 100K MT of apples from Iran due to the lower apple harvest in the country which affects both concentrate and dessert markets. Cyclone Gabrielle, which struck New Zealand’s North Island in mid-February, have destroyed multiple orchards and crops just before the start of the harvest season. Polish apple exports in 2022 decreased by as much as 22% compared to 2021 primarily as a result of the Belarusian embargo and problems with currency exchange in Egypt. The export of Turkish apples in the 2022/23 season continues to decline compared to the previous season. Lastly, the Belarusian government banned the export of apples on Feb 15 until April 30.


Apple Production for the Southern Hemisphere Set to Increase in 2023 (Feb 28)

Southern Hemisphere apple production is forecasted to have a 6% YoY increase in 2023 at 5.1M MT. The forecast, which includes data from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa, projects a rebound in apple production after a 7% decline in 2022. Despite unfavorable weather events in South Africa and New Zealand that have affected the start of the season in both countries, apple production is also projected to increase. However, South Africa has been forced to an early season that has decreased prices on a steady increase in supply. Southern Hemisphere apple exports are also expected to increase by 5% YoY to reach 1.68M MT. (Continue Reading)


China Will Buy 100K MT of Apples From Iran (Mar 2)

The Iranians and the Chinese agreed to sell 100K MT of apples, however, many fruit growers would prefer products from Poland. The lower apple harvest in China affects both the apple concentrate market and the dessert apple market. Already in September, it was informed that the largest producer in the world exports fewer apples than in previous years. In the 2022/23 season, the apple harvest in China was around 36M MT compared to 46M MT in the previous season. Much smaller harvests are possible causes of fruit shortages in the dessert market. The Iranian Minister of Agriculture announced the start of cooperation. As part of the first phase of the deal, China will start importing 100K MT of Iranian apples. That amount is impressive and many fruit growers would probably like apples from Poland to go to Chinese tables instead of Iranian apples. However, these are symbolic quantities, from 20 to 30MT per month. Considering the distance and prices, Chinese fruit can't be more competitive than Iranian ones.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s Fruit Bowl Ravaged by Cyclone Gabrielle (Feb 28)

Cyclone Gabrielle, which struck New Zealand’s North Island in mid-February, is reported to have destroyed multiple orchards and crops just before the start of the harvest season. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins called Gabrielle the country’s biggest natural disaster this century, with the total damage preliminarily estimated at over USD 8B. New Zealand’s apples are mainly grown in Hawke’s Bay, one of the North Island’s most affected areas. According to local media, some growers have lost their entire orchards, whereas others remain largely unaffected and still have crops to harvest. Some businesses have already resumed operations with fruit collection set as a priority. According to industry members, if fruit picking is not resumed immediately, packing, transport and other processes will also reach a standstill, while the fruit needs to be delivered to the market.

South Africa

South Africa’s Domestic Apple Prices Dropped 0.87% Wow in W8 (Mar 2)

By the end of W8, South Africa's apples were selling at USD 0.459/kg which is a drop of 0.87% WoW from W7's selling price of USD 0.455/kg. The drop is attributed to the increasing supply of apples domestically, as more apples are harvested locally.


Egypt, Romania, and Germany, the Largest Recipients of Polish Apples in 2022 (Feb 28)

In 2022, the total export of apples decreased by as much as 22% compared to 2021. The much weaker result is primarily the aftermath of the Belarusian embargo and problems with currency exchange in Egypt. Nevertheless, Egypt remained the largest market for Polish apples, where 96K MT were shipped. According to the data, in 2022, Poland did not export more than 100K MT of apples to any market. Last year there were three markets on the list; Egypt, Germany, and Belarus. Due to smaller shipments to Belarus (export decreased by 65%), Romania became the second-largest market for Polish apples in terms of value. The country advanced in the ranking even though exports in this direction fell by 11% YoY. As for the volume, Poland sent more apples to Germany.


Export of Apples From Turkey to Russia Increased by 7.8K MT (Mar 2)

According to EastFruit analysts, the export of Turkish apples in the 2022/23 season continues to decline compared to the previous season. As of the end of December 2022, Turkey was able to export 135K MT of new crop fruits, which is 6% less than in the same period a year earlier. It is noted that the volume of deliveries of Turkish apples to the world market decreased monthly. If in September and October 2022, the volume of supplies of apples from Turkey even exceeded the figures for the corresponding months of 2021, then in November it already fell by 7%, and in December by 24%, compared with the corresponding months of 2021. The decrease in sales of Turkish fruits was noted in India, which remains the main market for Turkish producers. In the first five months of the current season, Turkey exported 25%, 10K MT less fruit to India than in the 2021/22 season. Deliveries to Syria (-31%) and Libya (-37%) dropped significantly.

The most significant increase in exports was observed in the direction of Saudi Arabia. This is a country that in the first five months of the 2021/22 season did not purchase a single apple from Turkey at all, and in the second half of 2022, 13.6K MT of fruit were sent in this direction. A sharp increase was demonstrated by the volume of exports of apples from Turkey to Russia, by 89% (7.8K MT). Most likely, Turkish apples have become a substitute for fruits from Moldova, the import of which was banned by Russia. Also, from August to December 2022, export supplies of Turkish apples to Iraq increased by 64% (5K MT) compared to the same period of the previous year.


Apple Prices Remained Constant Despite the Low Demand for Apples in Japan in February 2023 (Mar 3)

In Japan, the domestic apple harvest is nearing its end in W15. Shipments have momentarily decreased in Aomori Prefecture, a significant producing region, as a result of the effects of the weather. The wholesale market prices increased by almost 40% on February 1, 2023, to March 1, 2023. On February 1, 2023, the apples stood at USD 1.69/kg, but on March 1, 2023, apples increased to USD 2.82/kg. Apples aren't in high demand in Japan, and retail prices haven't moved at all. It indicates that only the wholesale market has made purchases at inflated costs.


Fuji Harvest Starts in Some Regions of Brazil, but Volume Should Remain Limited (Feb 28)

The gala apple harvest for the 2022/23 harvest is being finalized in the main producing regions in the south of Brazil. This makes room for the cultivation of fuji, which started at the end of February in some orchards in Vacaria (RS). Cultivation of the variety, however, should intensify in mid-March in most regions. According to Hortifruti/Cepea agents, the unfavorable weather during the flowering and setting period should result in a limited volume for the fuji variety, unlike the gala variety, which should have greater availability.


Belarus Bans the Export of Onions and Apples (Feb 28)

The self-restraint on exports was introduced in Belarus on February 15 and will last for two and a half months, until April 30, 2023. According to the document, onions and apples cannot be exported outside Belarus. "Not a single argument about exports, favorable conditions in the foreign market, and foreign exchange earnings will not be accepted if there is a gap in the domestic market. Our stores should not have empty shelves. It is unacceptable if there are no Belarusian goods in the stores," said the minister explaining the position. This is due to the food security doctrine, approved until 2030.


Uzbekistan Dramatically Increased Apple Imports From Ukraine, Iran and Poland (Mar 2)

According to EastFruit analysts, in 2022 Uzbekistan sharply increased the volume of imports of fresh apples to the domestic market. During the year, imports of fresh apples increased by 2.5 times and reached a record 26.7K MT. The main volume of apples for the calendar year 2022 was purchased by Uzbek importers from Iran with more than 15.7K MT. Thus, apple imports from Iran to Uzbekistan increased by 3.7 times over the year, although Iran itself sharply reduced the total volume of apple exports in 2022 due to a crop failure. The second place in the ranking of apple suppliers to the Uzbek market was taken by Poland, which accounted for 15% of all imports (4.1K MT). Deliveries from Poland to Uzbekistan increased most sharply by 41 times compared to 2021. Despite the war launched by Russia and the logistics to Uzbekistan that have risen sharply in price, Ukraine has also sharply increased shipments of its apple to Uzbekistan. Exports increased by 7.7 times and reached 2.2K MT. 


Price Decrease of Imported Royal Gala Apples in the Colombian Market During W9 (Mar 3)

In W9, the price of imported royal gala apples decreased in Colombia. The decrease was present in twenty-one of the twenty-two wholesale markets where it was traded, with higher volumes arriving from Chile. In Florencia, imported apples were priced at USD 1.82/kg (COP 8,702), a drop of 5.16%.


Moi University Enters Into Apple Farming to Diversify Income (Mar 3)

Moi University has harvested its first apples as the university seeks to diversify its revenue sources. The university becomes one of the educational institutions in Kenya to embrace apple farming. Revenue from apple sales will allow the company to raise more funds, coming at a time when universities are facing a cash crunch. Apple is a lucrative fruit whose popularity has been growing among Kenyans. Its demand has helped push its prices, with one apple costing about USD 0.24 (Sh30). The university launched apple farming in May 2022 to not only generate income for the institution but also contribute to food security, nutrition security, and health.


Shortage of Apples in the Taiwanese Market During W9 (Mar 3)

Taiwan's fruit market shows a shortage of apples, as New Zealand's apples were affected by the weather in February of 2023. The market has turned to USA and South Korean apples as an alternative.

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