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Poland: Notable increase of apple prices in May

The average purchase price of apples in May this year reached 1.68 zloty* per kilo and was 47% higher than in April and as much as 67% higher than last year. Taking into account the supply and demand situation on the national and European apple market, it is difficult to unequivocally justify this increase, according to Magdalena Kowalewska, agricultural market expert at BGN BNP Paribas.

As Kowalewska explains, we saw a dynamic increase in the price of apples on the domestic market in May this year. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, dessert apples cost an average of 1.18 zloty in the last week of April 2017, and in the last week of May this price reached 1.87 zloty, which means an increase of 59%.

According to data from the WAPA (World Apple and Pear Association), a total of 300 thousand tonnes of apples were stored in Polish refrigerated chambers on 1 May 2017, which entails an 8% drop in annual terms. In April this year, approximately 280 thousand tonnes were sold, i.e., 23% more than in March this year and 4% more in annual terms.

Apple prices in the current season have been shaped by exports. According to Eurostat data, in the first eight months of the current season (July 2016 - February 2017), Poland exported 597.3 thousand tonnes of apples worth nearly 174 million zloty. This means that exports increased by more than 34% in terms of volume and by 23% in terms of value, added the analyst.

Magdalena Kowalewska emphasises that the production of apples in the season 2016/17 reached a record level. According to the Central Statistical Office, it exceeded 3.6 million tonnes, and according to the Society for the Development of Orchards, it reached over 4 million tonnes.

Taking into account the above factors, it seems that the main reason for the dynamic increase in apple prices in May this year was the frosts that took place between April and May and the related concerns about the apple harvest in the upcoming 2017/18 season.

The expert adds that, in comparison with the average prices in May over the last five years, this increase was of less than 6%. According to Kowalewska, it is currently difficult to determine precisely how apple prices will behave in the coming 2017/18 season.

"Much will depend on the extent to which spring frosts affect the apple yield and final harvest levels, as well as on the agrometeorological conditions of the coming months," she added.

*1 zloty = 0.24 Euro/0.26 US$

Publication date: 6/19/2017


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