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Poland: Fruit prices rise by up to 70%

Analysts estimate that the rise in fruit prices in Poland will accelerate in the coming months. Fruit prices are already up by as much as 70%, and this is not the end of the growth.

Fruit prices usually fall in July, but this year the fall has been the smallest in the past five years, with only 0.9 percent compared with July 2016.

This is the result of poor weather in spring. The first problem was rainy and cool days at the time of the flowering, which had an impact on the bee's pollination; then came two waves of spring frosts, the first in April, which caused damage to the flower buds of fruit trees, especially cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and early apple varieties. Nightime temperatures dropped to as low as minus 8 Celsius.

The second wave took place in May, with temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees Celsius which caused damage especially in apple orchards. As reported by the Central Statistical Office at the end of July, in some orchards the losses reached even 100%.

This especially applies to the Idared varieties, while some milder frosts affected also the Champion, Gala and Gloster. The total harvest of apples will, in any case, be 35 percent smaller, and in many orchards the fruit quality is poor.

The CSO reported that the most affected fruit has been cherries, whose production will drop by more than 60%. Poor harvests will also be recorded with other fruits:

* The total harvest of apricots, peaches and walnuts is estimated to drop by over 50%.

* Plums: -40%

* Pears: Up to 30% less.

* Berries: Initially about 15% less.

* Early varieties of blackcurrants and autumn raspberry plantations will record 20% drops, but there is a chance of improvements in the results by the end of the season. The strawberry production is also about 10 percent smaller and prices have been up to 90% higher.

Prices this summer will continue to rise and, as Credit Agricole reported, the maximum year-on-year increases will be seen at the end of the third and fourth quarters at the latest.

Given the increases in the prices of fruit for fresh consumption, those of the fruit intended for processing are also higher, which will take a toll on the prices of jams and other products. According to data for the first weeks of August, apples for processing plants are about 60 percent more expensive, just like rhubarb. Meanwhile, the price of cherries is about 74 percent higher. Interestingly, however, raspberries are slightly cheaper than last year.


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