The South Tyrolean apple industry is now preparing for the final phase of the 2022/23 marketing season. "We had a relatively small yield overall, which is why some varieties will be cleared relatively early," said Michael Sparer, who works as a fruit broker in the global apple market. "In Red Delicious, we will be done soon, there are already only large calibers left to be had. In Granny Smith, too, we only have smaller remaining stocks."
Gala, which has always been one of South Tyrol's most important export apples, was also shipped significantly less this year. Says Sparer, "This is not so much related to demand on the international sales markets, but rather to the weaker qualities and shelf life of this year's crop. To make matters worse, the Egyptian government has taken measures by only allowing imports and exports up to a certain amount. Accordingly, we fruit exporters had to divide our export volumes, which is why we were able to place less product in quantity."
Michael Sparer works as a fruit broker in the international trade of pome fruit.
The market situation on the Italian market has been good for the most part so far. In contrast, there have been fewer shipments to Germany due to the abundant yields in the country's own growing regions. In Spain and Scandinavia, demand has been encouraging, Sparer says. "In Spain, the Red and Golden Delicious varieties and Gala continue to be well received. In the Italian domestic market, Gala has less market share compared to Red and Golden Delicious, but it is still quite popular. In Germany, Braeburn has established itself very well over the years."
Kissabel displaces Red Moon
Among club varieties, Pink Lady still ranks No. 1, Sparer said, "We will probably be able to offer it this year until the end of July. Crimson Snow and Giga are particularly suitable for late marketing and are usually loaded into August. SweeTango, on the other hand, is most suitable for early marketing, in part due to its weaker shelf life. Ambrosia and Envy have already been cleared and Kanzi will also be ready soon due to low crop volumes."
The Sparer family also farms its own apple orchard and also planted the red-fleshed club variety Red Moon a few years ago. "Red Moon is in direct competition with Kissabel, which is more edible for consumers. As a result, since the launch of Kissabel, Red Moon has been virtually unmarketable, so volumes now have to be placed at very weak prices."
Regular apple year expected
Hail, hurricanes and thunderstorms dominated events in large parts of Italy in recent weeks. Sparer says, "In South Tyrol, the blossoming as well as the fruit set has been good so far and we have been spared any significant property damage. All in all, we are expecting a regular apple year, although a lot can still happen between now and the start of the harvest in August. We also won't be harvesting the quantities we used to, again because the club varieties that have been increasingly planted in recent years are nowhere near as productive as the conventional varieties."
Images: Sparer Obstvermittlung KG