The Fruit and Vegetable Union of Russia has issued a statement saying the country’s self-sufficiency ratio for apples was around 65% last year, but the year was low-yielding due to recurrent frosts in the south.
Union director Mikhail Glushkov: “If the weather is normal, the gross harvest in the Krasnodar Territory, the main region of apple production, will definitely increase this year. In addition, 13.1 thousand hectares of orchards that were established two years ago will begin to bear fruit. This means that the total volume of fruit production could be around 1.5 million tons.” This is a huge volume, which can lead to oversupply on the market and lower prices, he added.
Igor Mukhanin, President of the Russian Horticultural Association, explains that apples are the most consumed fruit in Russia, so it is worth increasing their production. “Now we produce only 50% of the amount of apples to match the level of consumption recommended by Russian doctors but if we consider the recommendations in Europe and USA, which are around 100 kg per person per year, we provide only 30%.“
East-fruit.com also quoted him as saying: “To reach the level of self-sufficiency, Russian farmers need to produce 3.3 million tons of apples.” He added that as the market oversupply approaches, producers will start improving quality, since it is not profitable to reduce prices.