Weekly Product Updates

W45: Apple Update

Fresh Apple
Market & Price Trends
Published Nov 14, 2023

In W45 in the apple landscape, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts a 2.5% year-over-year (YoY) decrease in the European apple harvest in the 2023/24 season, estimated at 11.55 million metric tons (mmt). However, the slow harvest pace and low productivity have led many fruit growers to agree with the Polish Fruit Growers Association's estimate of 3 million tons. Initial stocks of both fresh apples and apple concentrate were very low. The apple processing sector in Europe is expected to use approximately 4.2 mmt in the 2023/24 season, with an increase of 9% YoY in the European Union (EU) and a decrease in Poland, Germany, and Austria.

Contrary to expectations, Great Britain surpassed Egypt in the 2022/23 season as the top importer of EU apples. Apple exports to Egypt decreased due to Egypt's economic difficulties, which included inflation, a declining Egyptian pound, and lower tourism revenue due to the pandemic. The USDA anticipates a 2.7% YoY increase in EU apple exports for the 2023/24 season due to higher exports from Poland, France, and Spain. Poland is the leading apple exporter globally, accounting for 75% of all EU apple exports and 39% of the outside the EU apple export market.

For the second consecutive year, Moldova's apple sector faces challenges, expecting a harvest of around 490 to 510 thousand tons in 2023, slightly higher than last year's 446 thousand tons but below the average. Despite market and logistic shocks in recent years, farmers and traders cope with the small 2023 harvest on the global market. The harvest is dominated by small-sized apples, with concentrate factories operating at full capacity, and with 17.8 thousand tons exported from Jul-23 to Sep-23, mainly to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, including 8 thousand tons to Russia and 6 thousand tons to Kazakhstan.

Ukraine has seen price increases for industrial apples, which is beneficial as more expensive raw material leads to more expensive Ukrainian apple concentrate. In W45, industrial apple prices in Poland ranged from USD 0.20 to 0.21/kilogram (PLN 0.82 to PLN 0.85/kg) for larger quantities. Due to lower prices for fewer deliveries, local producers in Ukraine can receive a maximum price of USD 0.16 to 0.18/kg (PLN 0.66 to PLN 0.75/kg) for larger quantities. The industrial apple market is still far from saturated, which should stimulate further growth.

Germany has been granted market access to export German apples to India, following neighboring countries that have been allowed to trade apples to India for some time. The Federal Association of Erzeugerorganisationen Obst und Gemüse (BVEO) director believes India is an important growth market and may be attractive for exporting cherries from Germany. The Netherlands has also accessed the Indian market for apples and pears since 2016.

In India, the significantly lower apple harvest has resulted in supply shortages, prompting increased demand for imported apples in the southern regions. Some Turkish companies prioritize maintaining high-quality standards rather than introducing lower-quality apples to the Indian market. The high demand has driven Turkish apple prices to increase by 15% to 20% YoY, and while demand may slow down in Nov-34 and Dec-23, it is expected to rebound after Mar-24. Turkish apples, positioned between Polish and Iranian counterparts in terms of quality, must emphasize their advantage in transportation to maintain a significant market share.

New Zealand's apple cultivation area is anticipated to decrease from 11 thousand hectares (ha) to 9.2 thousand ha in the 2023/2024 season due to Cyclone Gabrielle, causing flooding in primary areas like Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. Despite this challenge, the estimated apple harvest is 460 thousand mt. However, a potential revival is expected due to El Niño weather, seasonal workers, and cultivation system innovations. The apple export expectations for the 2023/2024 season suggest a recovery, with sustained strong demand, given New Zealand's off-season status compared to Northern Hemisphere countries.

Lastly, the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) has approved the import of fresh Serbian apples, provided they meet phytosanitary requirements despite 16 quarantine pests identified by China. Serbia produces around 550 thousand mt of apples and pears annually, exporting over 190 thousand mt. The first shipment of Serbian apples to China is set for Aug-24. China requires strict quality management, traceability systems, good agricultural practices, and cold treatment for orchards exporting fresh apples to China.

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