Serbian apple growers need to adapt to changing market and plentiful European harvest

Apple count for one-third of Serbian fruit production. As the apple harvest is almost over now, the first signs are showing higher yields, an increase of approximately 5% y-o-y.

Serbian apple expert and professor at the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad, Zoran Keserovic, forecasts that Serbia will have between 530,000 and 540,000 tons of apples this year and  assumes that total export of fruit in 2021 could be between $550 and $560 million, only slightly behind that of 2020.

However, Serbian apple producers will face serious competition on traditional export markets. Only producers with high quality produce can count on fast sales and good prices. Apple growers throughout Europe had a good year as well, and are expecting 10% higher yields, totaling 11.3 million tons of produce in the EU.

There are also a lot of  unsold apples from last year. "That is why I expect a difficult year and I think that any price higher than 30 euro cents per kilogram is good. In that case, if possible, apples should be sold," quoted the professor as saying.

Currently there is a standstill on the market. That can be a problem for producers with no storage capacities. "For others who have refrigerators/cold storages, and in Serbia there are plenty, my recommendation would be to store apples," said the professor.

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