The previous season for Polish apples had a smooth transition into the new one, as not all of the old apples were sold once the 2021/2022 season began. It means the Polish apple prices started out rather low, on top of that there are large volumes available for export.
According to Agnieszka Wryk, Commercial Director for Polish apple exporter Ewa-Bis, the end of last season connected to the start of the new season this year: “The apple harvest is still going on, so we are waiting for all the varieties that are attractive to our customers to be collected. However, I can already say that the previous season overlapped with the current season, resulting in a smooth transition. We currently export 'Gala Royal' apples. In addition, we recently attended the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid.”
Demand for Polish apples is solid and Wryk states that Ewa-Bis has managed to supply even the most demanding customers in terms of their requirements. “In 2020 we have invested in a one piece, unique organic orchard of 180 ha and we expect the first harvest of about 5000 tons. These are both table apples and industrial apples. We are proud to welcome the most demanding customers. The demand for our Polish apples is high as it was in the previous year. However, we must bear in mind there is also an abundant harvest in our customers' countries. This has made the market even more demanding, as it results in even more difficult requirements set by our clients. Requirements for industrial organic apples are very high, but one piece production allows us to achieve so high standard and deliver apples to demanding customers.”
The weather conditions proved to be a true ally to the Polish apple exporters, as the lack of drought and hail added to the quality of the apples this year, Wryk explains. “This year in Poland, a high apple yield is estimated. The yield is still much lower compared to the record year for us in 2018. I estimate the quality of the fruit to be good, because the growing season did not pose many problems for fruit growers in terms of protection against both pathogens and insecticides. The most desirable varieties of apples on the market are characterized by an even size and quality, which we owe to the favorable growing season. The advantage for us was the lack of drought, hail and favorable weather conditions in general. The ecological quality in the table apples and industrial market segment is very good due to good sunlight and the right temperature range, which gives the apples just the right brix level and color.”
Wryk states that the prices for this season’s apples are still affected by the situation from the previous season. “The prices in the current season were undoubtedly influenced by the number of apples that could not be sold in the previous season. With the beginning of the trading season, the price was quite low. The start of apple harvest stabilized these prices at a low level compared to last year. I believe that the price of apples will not change in the coming weeks, due to the large supply of apples on the market, although high storage costs will reduce the amount of apples in storage facilities. Prices of apples for conventional apples are 20% lower compared to last year and in the organic sector they are 10% lower, with unfortunately an increase in production costs.”
When looking ahead to next year, Wryk thinks the volume of stored apples will be determined by the next year's weather conditions “In my opinion, early-spring frosts may play an important role in , as they will limit the number of apples in the next season, and some fruit growers and producer groups will store apples until the next season, hoping that the increase in the price of an apple will compensate for the high storage costs. High production costs in recent years shall reduce apple production in the upcoming years. The future production in Poland will head to a specialization in varieties. Production will also be dedicated to a specific purpose; either table or industrial apples.” she concludes.