During the period of October and December, Polish apples were sold at double the price of the year before. Although they seem to have stabilized a little at the moment, there’s a good chance the price could increase more once the cold chambers start running out of stocks.
The lesser volumes of Polish apples on the market could affect more than just the export, but could also lead to trouble in the local market as the season ends.
According to Timur Almaszy, export manager for Polish apple exporter Bart-Ex, some orchards have lost about half of their produce to weather issues in the spring: “As everybody will know by now, this season is very different from the previous one. Throughout Poland the harvest is about 25-30% less, but depending on the location, some orchards have experiences losses of some varieties up to 40-50% of the harvest or even more. In the Polish local market the demand is stable, although I do think there will be problems with supply at the end of the season, which for sure will end earlier than usual. However, I hope it won’t end abruptly at an unexpected time.”
The lower supply has had its effect on the prices of Polish apples, which were doubled compared to last year at some point: “When going to the start of the season, around October, the prices were about twice as high as they were last year. This situation lasted until December, although they are still quite high at the moment. I suppose the price will continue to rise a little, as some cold chambers will run out of stock as early as March or April.” Almaszy explained.
The season isn’t over yet though, and Bart-Ex expects there will be challenges ahead. For one, Almaszy believes it’s important to remain transparent to their clients, to make sure they aren’t faced with any surprises: “The biggest challenge for us during the rest of the season will be ensuring the continuity of supplies to our regular customers and at the same time remain open to new possibilities. Of course we need to take care of the quality especially, because the average quality of the apples seems to be worse than last year. Despite the lower quality of the apples, the prices are actually higher and we can’t disappoint our customers.”
These higher prices have a direct effect on the demand from other markets, says Almaszy: “The demand for export markets this season is much lower, but it is mainly connected with the high prices. The volume of our export is also slightly lower than last year, but our main markets remain the Central European countries, Egypt, Belarus and some Far East countries.” To keep these markets in difficult times, exhibitions like Fruit Logistica can help them. “Fruit Logistica is a leading international meeting place, where we can meet our regular customers to discuss the current situation. However, we can’t forget to look for new opportunities and we are always open to new ideas and new destinations.” Almaszy concludes.
You can find Bart-Ex during Fruit Logistica in Berlin. Their stand is in Hall B, City Cube, Stand D-09.