Weekly Product Updates

W7 Apple Update: WAPA Forecasts 1.1% Increase in 2024 Southern Hemisphere Apple Production, Moldovan Apple Prices Drop by 7 to 8% in 2024, US Apple Industry Struggles with Oversupply and Indian Consumers to Face Higher Apple and Orange Prices Due to Shipping Reroutes

Fresh Apple
Published Feb 22, 2024

In W7 in the apple landscape, WAPA predicts a 1.1% YoY increase in Southern Hemisphere apple production in 2024, with South Africa leading with 1.4 mmt. Global apple exports contracted by 2.3% in 2023, with Italy, Chile, and New Zealand experiencing decreases. Meanwhile, the US apple industry faces oversupply challenges, with limited export markets and uncertain domestic demand. On the other hand, the imported fruit market in Vietnam has shifted due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Moldovan apple prices have dropped for the first time in 2024, with old and outdated varieties like Idared and Renet Simirenko falling by 7 to 8%. New Zealand's apple industry faces challenges post-Cyclone Gabrielle, with a reported loss of 610 ha. Lastly, Indian consumers will likely face increased prices for apples and oranges due to shipping reroutes due to Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping.

Global Apple Exports Contracted by 2.3% in 2023

Global apple exports experienced a 2.3% contraction in 2023, reaching 7.9 million tons with a free-on-board (FOB) value of USD 5.8 million. Italy, the world's leading exporter, experienced a 2.9% YoY shipment decrease. Chile, the seventh largest exporter, experienced a 6% YoY decrease in traditional varieties and an increase in niche varieties. A major supplier of high-quality apples, New Zealand exported 308 thousand mt in 2023, with Asia being its primary market. South Africa saw a 4% YoY increase in its apple exports, reaching 495 thousand mt, with a FOB value of USD 448 million. The global apple market is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

Southern Hemisphere Apple Production Forecasted to Increase by 1.1% YoY in 2024

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released its 2024 Southern Hemisphere apple harvest forecast, predicting a 1.1% year-over-year (YoY) increase in apple production. The Southern Hemisphere's apple crop in 2024 is forecasted to increase by 1.1% to 4.775 million metric tons (mmt). South Africa is expected to lead with 1.4 mmt, followed by Brazil with 1.1 mmt, Chile with 912 thousand metric tons (mt), New Zealand with 557.9 thousand mt, Argentina with 501 thousand mt, and Australia with 308 thousand mt. Gala apples are the most popular variety at 1.578 mmt, with apple exports set to increase by 8% YoY to 1.552 mmt. Leading exporters South Africa and Chile are forecasted to increase volumes, while New Zealand's exports should grow by 22.2% YoY. Argentina and Brazil are predicted to see decreases in export volumes.

US Apple Industry Faces Oversupply Challenges in 2024

With a high harvest, the United States (US) apple industry is dealing with an oversupply of fruit, making it challenging for producers to find buyers. In addition, the surplus has resulted in record storage levels, presenting a significant challenge for growers. This surplus is primarily due to limited export markets and uncertain domestic demand. Lowering prices might be necessary to boost demand, although the effectiveness of this strategy is uncertain. Nonetheless, there is optimism regarding potential growth opportunities for US apple exports due to the possibility of reduced tariffs in India.

US Apple Imports in Vietnam During Feb-24 Slowdown by Lunar New Year Holiday

The imported fruit market in Vietnam has shifted from its bustling pre-Tết holiday activity to a quieter atmosphere, with American apples and other fruits present but little trade happening. Many workers have returned home for the Tết holiday, reducing market activity.

Declining Prices for Old Apple Varieties in Moldova During 2024

Moldovan apple prices have unexpectedly dropped for the first time in 2024, with old and outdated varieties like Idared and Renet Simirenko falling by 7 to 8%. These apples were primarily grown for Russian consumers, and Moldovan apple prices stood at USD 0.36 to 0.42 per kilogram (MDL 6.5 to 7.5/kg). On average, apple prices are still USD 0.05 to 0.10/kg higher than in 2023. Some Moldovan exporters attribute the decrease in purchase prices for these varieties to the reduction in prices in the Russian and Polish markets. Moldovan trading companies with the most developed post-harvest and marketing infrastructure do not allocate space for these varieties in their storage facilities, leading to decreased quality and forced price reductions. Processors resumed accepting apples from warehouses at the end of last month, with supply expected to intensify in the second half of Feb-24 and Mar-24.

Challenging Recovery Ahead for New Zealand's Apple Industry Post-Cyclone Gabrielle in 2024

Cyclone Gabrielle has dealt a significant blow to New Zealand's apple industry, particularly in Hawke's Bay, with a reported loss of 610 hectares (ha) out of 6.5 thousand ha of apple orchards. Despite this setback, they emphasized the industry's resilience, noting efforts to rehabilitate the affected land and highlighting optimism among growers. Despite the USD 200 million loss in income, apple growers are encouraged by a good crop of trees and the reconstruction of a packhouse. Growers are optimistic about the better-than-expected apple crop during 2024 and the markets buying New Zealand apples, including popular new varieties. The cyclone's impact on the region's economy is yet to be determined.

India's Apple and Orange Prices Surge Amid Red Sea Shipping Conflict

In 2024, Indian consumers will likely face increased prices for apples and oranges due to shipping reroutes caused by the ongoing threat of Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping. The longer route via the South African coast has increased transport costs by USD 2,000 to 3,000 per vessel carrying 21 mt of apples, resulting in a higher landed cost. The cost of apples has risen from USD 2.41 to 2.65/kg (INR 200 to 220/kg), an increase of USD 0.22 to 0.24/kg (INR 18 to 20/kg) compared to 2023. India is now relying on imports from Türkiye, the US, and Egypt, with oranges from Egypt, and Türkiye also expected to follow similar price trends. Turkish apples are now priced at USD 26.50 to 27.70/18 kg per box (INR 2,200 to 2,300/18 kg per box).

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