Poland: situation on the apple market
The 2019/20 apple season is extremely different to the previous one, when Poland faced a record level of harvest (3.9 million tons). According to September estimates of the Polish Statistical Office, domestic apple production in 2019 decreased by 25% to approx. 3 million tons, which resulted in significant increases in the prices of these fruits.
The average price of dessert apples in the period September-November increased by 99% compared to last year. But the prices are still lower than in the 2017/18 season with production at 2.44 million tonnes. The market is influenced by the high global supply of apples and relatively smaller falls in the EU. Based on USDA the apple world production in this season will increase by 6.7% to 75.7 million tonnes, mainly as a result of 24% production increase in China (41 million tons).
Situation in Europe
The decrease in the supply of apples in 2019 among EU countries concerned Poland the most. The first data on apple stocks in November indicate its stabilization in Western Europe, but with a significant decline in Germany and record high levels of stocks in France and Spain (data do not include Italy, where a 3% decrease in production was recorded in 2019).
Processing and international trade
Strong price increases were also observed in the case of apples for processing - in September-November by 142% to 0.59 PLN / kg. Nevertheless, the prospect of increased supply of concentrate in China was a brake on the increases.
Due to lower supply of apples in the 2019/20 season, Polish apple exports will probably decrease. Export fluctuations in recent years are mainly influenced by supply factors, but it can be assessed that foreign demand for fruit from Poland is still low. In the last season, Polish apple exports increased by 39% to 992,000 t, which was a relatively low volume considering the record harvest level. As a result of relatively low exports, a decidedly larger portion of apples went to processing in the 2018/19 season, and this allowed for the production of a record volume of concentrated apple juice (465 thousand tons). At the same time, the export of apple juice concentrate was also record-high, mainly due to higher demand in the US (drop in supply from China and trade war).
Belarus remained the largest recipient of apples from Poland with 20% share in the volume of foreign sales of these fruits. The second importer of Polish apples with a volume of 126 thousand t became Egypt.