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"Gala apples are almost completely depleted"

Looking at the availability of apples from Poland, the situation is a lot like it was in the previous season around this period, says Jakub Krawczyk, export manager for Polish apple exporter Appolonia: "Our current apple stocks are still quite similar to the stock levels we had last season during this time of year. Gauging the demand, it really depends on the market. Many Polish apple traders are exporting to Kazakhstan, Egypt or Belarus and we see the demand is strongest in these markets. When it comes to the EU customers, we noticed a little slow down with the orders. Right now, soft fruit appeared in Poland, like strawberries, and as a result people are opting to buy those fruits instead of apples. This is a trend that occurs every year."

A higher price for the Polish apples had an impact on the current demand, Krawczyk explains. "Prices for the apples have also increased rapidly, especially for the red varieties. Some customers could not handle this increase, which slowed down demand. Also, promotions for some supermarkets have ended and the next promotions will probably start around August, so this also had some impact on the sales volumes. The longer the season lasts, the smaller the markets are to export to. We're unable to sell any more apples to Asia or South America at this point in the season, so our season has finished in these regions."

The availability varies depending on the variety, but Krawczyk emphasizes that Gala apples are almost completely sold out for the season: "Right now, the most popular varieties that our clients go for are Red Jonaprince, Jonagored, Golden Delicious and Idared. There are still varieties with good availability like Ligol, Szampion, Red Chief and some others, but slowly there will be fewer and fewer apples available. The Gala apples are almost completely depleted at the moment. We think that selling the stocks that we still have will not be a problem. On top of that, we are preparing for the next season. Which means we're meeting with customers, creating a schedule and so on."

According to Krawczyk, many of the clients were unable to meet the new prices that were set by Polish apple growers. "There was a big price increase for apples in the last weeks, because of a few reasons. There were fewer apples available on the market and the demand was quite strong. Many growers suffered frost and hail damage, so they decided to increase the price for apples they still have in stock. Unfortunately, not all markets have managed to catch up with the price increases, and most of the buyers didn't want to increase the apple price for their suppliers. As such, many of the suppliers either needed to agree on lower prices or have stopped deliveries, depending on the agreement they had in place. We're unsure whether the increase of apple prices will continue, because for many destinations the price is simply too high."

Krawczyk states that the logistical situation will need to improve if the company is to export to Asian markets in the new season: "The biggest problem this season was the delay of containers in Asian routes. We really think that if the problem continues next season, we need to reconsider whether we want to take the risk or send our apples to other markets. If we don't have guarantees for a normal transit time by the shipping lines, we will not risk sending apples to many ports. I think many companies suffered because of delays this season, not only Polish exporters, but general apples producers. I think everybody will agree that even if we pack the apples perfectly, the extended transit time affects the apples' quality significantly," he concludes.

For more information:
Jakub Krawczyk
Tel: +48 785 342 930
Email: [email protected]