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Fresh apples for processing – a new popular export product in Europe

According to EastFruit analysts, in the 2023/24 season a new trend emerged at the European market – exports of fresh apples to companies-producers of apple juice concentrate. This is due to unprecedentedly high global prices for apple juice concentrate, the reasons for which we described in detail in the material “Reincarnation of apple concentrate or “long live the low-quality apple!”

Today, the average procurement prices for apples for processing in Eastern European countries is about 22-25 US cents per kg, which is three times more than a year earlier at the same time, when, by the way, the process of price increase had already begun. However, prices for industrial apples in the large EU-15 processing countries such as Austria and Germany are even higher. Thanks to the rise in prices for low-quality apples to such high levels, a new phenomenon has arisen – exports of fresh industrial apples.

Growers and exporters from non-EU countries in Eastern and Central Europe are reporting an increase in requests from Austrian and German processors to purchase industrial apples for exports. At the same time, processors are ready, if necessary, to even help with transportation of these apples.

It is interesting that just two years ago, purchasing prices for apples for processing were so low that they barely covered the costs of transporting them to the local factories. Supplying such apples for exports were totally out of question as it did not make economic sense. However, at the moment, high prices for industrial apples are also affecting prices on the domestic market. The inexpensive apple segment, which was previously quite large, declined sharply in the 2023/24 season as lots of cheap apples went to processing. Thus, coupled with low apple harvests in Europe, led to a sharp increase in prices in both: the middle and high price segments.

In Poland, Ukraine and Moldova, fresh apple prices have increased over the year by an average of 40-60% and continue to remain high. And if in Moldova apple juicers suspended processing of apples in the fall of 2023 due to a shortage of raw materials, now they have resumed it again. It is obvious that industrial apple prices continue to compete with fresh market apple prices, pushing these prices upward.

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