The apple season in the countries of the Northern Hemisphere, which got the hashtag #freshapplecrisis even before its main start, is gaining momentum. According to EastFruit, harvesting of Golden Delicious apples started this week in Ukraine, but growers are not satisfied with prices for the first batches, as well as the sales in general.
Apple growers are now ready to ship Golden Delicious at 10-11 UAH/kg ($0.37-0.41/kg). The price range for good quality apples in Ukraine is still 8-12 UAH/kg ($0.30-0.45/kg), and the average price has already dropped by a third compared to last year and is at the level of 2019.
In addition to lower prices, market participants report that there is no active demand for apples from the main buyers.
Firstly, the Ukrainian market now has a large supply of hail-damaged apples. Buyers of the fresh market do not need such products considering that demand for higher-quality fruit is also low, and producers of apple concentrate prefer to work with previously contracted volumes. In this case, growers can receive no more than 3.50 UAH/kg ($0.13/kg).
Secondly, sales of all the main varieties on the market are stagnating, even when the harvesting of later apples has not yet entered an active phase. The weather also contributed to this, with the Gala apples season having started two weeks later. As a result, in the absence of active demand, the supply of earlier apples will gradually overlap with the season of later ones, reducing the overall price range in the market.
For instance, the starting prices for Gala apples in Ukraine were 12-14 UAH/kg ($0.39-0.52/kg) at the beginning of September, but by now they have dropped to 8-11 UAH/kg ($0.30 -0.41/kg), confirming the forecasts the APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits analysts made at the conference “Apple Business of Ukraine-2021”. Let us remind that if you could not attend this event you can get up-to-date analytics of the apple market in the research “Fruit and Vegetable Market of Ukraine-2021: Results and Forecasts for the Next Season” to be updated by the beginning of October this year.
Note that #freshapplecrisis refers not only to Ukraine, but to all key countries in the global apple market. For example, at the very beginning of the season, the prices for Gala apples in Russia fell by half at once, and in Poland growers have started protesting against low purchase prices of local retail chains. Moreover, many Polish farmers are even considering abandoning apple cultivation in favor of pears. Meanwhile, in Moldova, market participants also report low sales and there is an acute shortage of storage capacity while waiting for one of the largest apple harvests.
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