Last Thursday, during the Prognosefruit in Alden Biesen, Belgium, the top fruit prognoses were presented. The European apple production is expected to amount to 10,556,000 tonnes this year. That’s 20 per cent smaller than last year and eight per cent smaller than the average of the past three years.
Looking back on 2018/19 season
Philippe Binard of the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) looked back on the 2018/19 season. Last year, 12,611,000 tonnes of apples were expected, but the actual figures amounted to 13,275,000 tonnes. The 2018/19 season was a cut above the amounts of the past ten years regarding production figures. On the other hand, prices were far lower than those of the 2017/18 season, and they were lower than the five-year average as well.
In July of this year, the apple stocks were far higher than the amount of 2017/18, and these were also higher than the five-year average. Due to high production figures, much less was imported in 2018/19 compared to the previous season. Although the complete figures aren’t available yet, much less was imported in the period ranging from January to July.
“The 2018/19 season is characterised by weather extremes, including a long heatwave, hail storms, dry weather and abnormal temperature fluctuations,” Binard says.
Prospects for 2019/20
For the main varieties, it’s expected that a decrease in production will be seen in a lot of varieties, but not in Gala. A decrease of 60 per cent is expected for Jonagored in particular. Of the club varieties, it’s expected that the 11 largest varieties will see an increase in production.
“Higher prices for large sizes expected”
According to Helwig Schwartau of Ami, the most important fact this year is that the Germans have significantly fewer ‘backyard’ apples, which could lead to a higher purchasing volume and average retail prices in the autumn period. However, more old apples are expected in September because of old stocks. It’s also expected that there will be a lot of smaller sizes, so that prices for the sizes 75-80-85 will rise.
“Compared to last year, shelf life will be much better, which could result in more export to Latin America and Asia. India is a market to watch. The Indian market is growing and they’re paying an interesting price for good quality,” Helwig says.