As of March 1, Poland had the largest stocks of dessert apples in Europe, reaching 940,000 tons - according to data of the World Association of Apples and Pears (WAAP).
Such high stocks may bring losses to fruit farmers – is the opinion of BGŻ BNP Paribas analysts. Apple stocks in Polish storage rooms were 102 % higher than inventories from the same period last year, but only by 18% higher than stocks from March 2017 - notes BNP Paribas. According to WAAP data, total stocks of dessert apples, stored in European stores, are estimated at over 3 million tons, which means that they were by 74% higher than stocks from March 2018 and by almost 10% higher than stocks from March 2017.
Poles in March this year sold 275,000 tons of apples from the storage rooms (in February 259 thousand t, and in January 262 thousand t). On average, they marketed around 295,000 tons of apples per month, after record-breaking warehouse stocks collected in record-breaking last year's harvest.
As the BGŻ BNP Paribas analyst pointed out, Polish distributors (including farmers) have about three months to empty the cold storages before the fruit appears in the new season. If the pace of emptying storages persisted, at the beginning of the new season there would still be approx. 54 thousand tons of apples in cold stores, which would be not the worst result, but it is unlikely. For comparison, in the 2017/18 season, final stocks amounted to 46 thousand tons. Rather, Polish fruit farmers will start the season 2019/20 with over 100-110 thousand tons of apples in stocks. At the same time - as the analyst notes - the fruit storage quality is not the best and over time they may not be suitable for sale as dessert apples. Some of the remaining apples then will be processed into concentrate, the remaining apples will be destroyed or used for animal feed. This might mean losses for distributors/farmers.