Polish apple exports are slowly picking up the pace again after a slow November, says Aniruddh Ramesh, director of Polish apple exporter LVMG Grupa: “The season started on a very high note to all export destinations and slowed down from November. But it has very gradually started picking up pace again, hopefully it’ll continue to go forward this way. The first few shipments of the season have arrived and we have very positive feedback from all around.”
India is LVMG’s main market, and Ramesh states that demand has indeed slowed down due to excessive imports. “Demand is much lower compared to September and October, as the market has been overflown with fruits from various destinations and selling in India is slow at the moment. It certainly correlates to the import demand from our clients. Despite many of our shipments having reached India in very good condition, their subsequent orders had to slow down. I believe a lot of fruits were shipped straight from picking from countries that had harvested earlier than Poland. This means by the time our cargo started to arrive in India, demand had already slowed down.”
Although price for apples are at a high point right now, the situation seems to have stabilized according to Ramesh: “Varieties like Stripped Royal Gala have touched high numbers in terms of price, to the point where clients are finding it difficult to afford. Hence, I believe the buying of fruits from the growers also has reduced because of this. Varieties like Royal gala, Red Delicious Sports and Red Jonaprince are traded in many countries outside the EU, and if these varieties get more expensive, demand will only get weaker. So, we hope prices remain stable to keep the trade going forward.”
LVMG mostly focuses on three varieties every year, as these do very well in the Indian market, Ramesh explains. “The most popular variety for the Indian market is definitely Stripped Royal Gala. It has the biggest demand in India, followed by Red Delicious and Red Jonaprince. We usually ship only these three varieties to India as it has good firmness for a longer shelf life, is able to sustain the long shipping time and the consumers in India enjoy the taste. These are tried and tested varieties, which have proven to be very successfully in India and hence we stick to them every year.”
“We expect the market to get back up and running in a more stable manner, with steady weekly shipments. Our brand is a popular one on the market in India, so that should also add some push to the demand. The good news is that shipping rates have been stable since the start, so this is very positive that one cost factor still supports the business, hence we aim to do more exports this season,” Ramesh concludes.