“In the 2018/19 season, the prices of Polish apples will be much higher. According to the National Research Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, in the last week of August the average purchase price of dessert apples increased by 18 percent year on year, and in the following weeks these dynamics will probably accelerate,” Mariusz Dziwulski, expert on the agricultural markets of the PKO BP bank, said.
Last year was difficult for dessert apple producers. The large supply of fruit caused sales problems and low prices, but this season promises to be quite the opposite.
The record harvest in Poland and the EU in 2018 contributed to a significant drop in their prices. The average purchase price of dessert apples in the 2018/19 season was 0.86 PLN (0.20 EUR) per kilogram; lower by 54 percent Y-o-Y and the lowest since at least 2004.
In the 2018/19 season, on average, prices of apples for processing increased 2.1 times in August.
The estimated scale of this year's harvest losses is not precise. In July, the Central Statistical Office said the apple harvest in Poland could be 25 percent lower. On the other hand, WAPA estimates that they are reduced by as much as 44 percent.
“Estimated price increases to at least the level of the long-term average (although the increases will probably be higher) would improve the income situation of apple producers nationwide,” Dziwulski said.
On the other hand, the risk factor for further price increases is the likely increase in apple production in China in 2019, which may cause a decrease in demand for Polish concentrate later in the season. Due to the escalating trade conflict on the US-China line, it is likely that Chinese apple juice imports to the EU will increase.
Additionally, apple exports to North Africa, the Middle East and Asia are characterized by the highest growth dynamics. The largest increase in the 2018/19 season was recorded in sales to Egypt (nearly 8 times). Apple exports to Jordan and India also increased significantly by 2.8 times and 5.8 times respectively. Sales to India were facilitated by the embargo imposed by the country in 2017 on apples from China.
In the 2019/20 season, Polish apple exports will most likely decrease due to lower supply. The decline in the EU apple harvest (in particular Germany) may cause an increase in fruit sales to the EU. The share of non-EU countries will still remain decisive, although it is likely to decrease compared to the 2018/19 season.
According to Dziwulski, the likelihood of imports from China by India resuming, may mean a weakening of demand for Polish apples in this country, especially in the context of a likely increase in production in China. Ukraine, which is exporting increasingly more fruit, is poses a competition for the export of Polish apples to Scandinavian markets (mainly Sweden).