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Italy: Operators waiting to see what happens on the apple market
According to an operator at the Bologna wholesale market on 29th September 2017, the apple situation is quite complicated at the moment as there is some confusion. There is produce from last year available as well as new batches. The weather is still good and does not push consumption.
"We will have to see how things evolve according to a series of factors. There is not much in stock, but there is something. Conservation techniques means we can store apples, and some feel they are even better than fresh ones. People are buying them, but they will purchase larger quantities with the first drop in temperatures," explains Massimo Venturoli, top fruit manager for Cenerini.
The expert, who has 25 years of experience in the sector, talks about the Renetta variety by way of example. "Quantities are dropping due to the late frost. This means they will be much lower compared to a normal year. Currently, prices are €1.50-1.60 for loose apples and €2 for packaged ones. I think this will be a complicated year in general."
Venturoli stresses that, for the past few years, there has been no gap on the market. Which isn't necessarily a good thing. "When I started 25 years ago, there were only three varieties with large quantities, i.e. Golden, Stark and Renetta. Now there are dozens and is not easy to know them all. Packaging solutions have also increased a lot. I would say changes were rather drastic over the past 25 years."
As regards summer apples, the operator reports that Royal Gala had good feedback. The first Fuji have just arrived on the market and prices are already interesting.
"Customers have also changed in the past 25 yeas. Retailers used to be less important and everything passed through markets. Nowadays many of my clients are stallholders. They have a significant impact, just like greengrocer's. Anyway our apples also end up at wholesalers' all over Italy."
Publication date: 10/3/2017
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