VOG: Satisfactory mid-term review

Six months after the start of the sales season 2017/2018, it is time for the Association of Fruit Cooperatives of South Tyrol (VOG) to make an interim assessment: stock reductions are faster than necessary, the sales figures are impressive and the results are profitable.

VOG director Gerhard Dichgans is happy with the first half of the season.

At the halfway point of the 2017/2018 apple season, the positive trend preview from the beginning of the season is confirmed. The European harvest of nine million tonnes has reversed the previous three years of oversupply and price erosion, resulting in tight supplies and rising prices. The market is back in balance.

Biggest harvest loss for Golden Delicious
The 25% lower harvest of the VOG group brought losses to almost all classic varieties: Royal Gala minus 15%, Red Delicious minus 26%, Braeburn minus 34%. However, the largest loss was recorded with the Golden Delicious at minus 45 percent, as it was hit hardest by hail and frost. In this sad overview, only Fuji at minus 4% and Granny Smith, that remained at the 2016 harvest level, were the exceptions. And club apples were not spared either: Pink Lady lost 15%, while Kanzi and Envy - thanks to the newly planted orchards in previous years - just reached the harvest volumes of 2016.

High price level gave cause for concern
As expected at the beginning of the season, the strongest demand and price stimulus came from Italy and Germany, where the supply of the two reference varieties (Golden Delicious and Jonagold) was significantly lower than in previous years. 

VOG Director Gerhard Dichgans explains: "The price increases on this scale were surprising and gave cause for concern. We feared that the high price level for apples on the shelves could impact consumer behavior, but thankfully that was not the case. Sales are proceeding quickly and I expect that we will close the season prematurely, this way." Particularly great are the performances of the standard varieties that got "a beating" in recent years; they could partially catch up with the price levels of the new club apples.

Clubs apples are expected to be sold out in early May
The low stocks of minus 33% on 1 February are also the result of the high sales volumes. "Compared to the same time last year, we now have one-third fewer apples in stock, with the stock for Golden even less than half of the previous year," explains the Director of VOG. The Royal Gala will be gone in the first ten days of March, Kanzi and Pink Lady will be done in late April or early May already, one month earlier than usual.

In summary, the VOG expects the season to end very early, with a small European supply in the summer months, lasting until August, when the new Galas will hit the market. This could be a chance for overseas imports to regain some of the terrain they lost in recent years.

Source: VOG

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