The Gala apple variety has become dominant in global trade in recent years. The Gala variety has been the leader for about 4 years even in the USA, where the dominance of the Red Delicious variety seemed firm. The variety is also popular in Ukraine, but, according to EastFruit analysts, the replacement of old varieties is too slow. Growers are trying to get the most out of old orchards with outdated varieties such as Idared or Renet Simirenko, despite the enormous difficulties in exporting them.
That is why, the stocks of Gala apples are exhausted by the end of January for the second year in a row. Large growers who have high-quality Gala store them to fulfill exports contracts, but such apples are practically no longer available on the local market. It was almost impossible to buy high-quality Gala on the domestic market in mid-January 2021, but the apple harvest in the country was much lower then.
According to the independent analytical project “APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits”, which has been monitoring the market of vegetables and fruits in Ukraine for 19 years, quality Gala apples can only be found in one retail chain in the country. However, the supplier’s stocks are also almost exhausted, and these apples will disappear from the shelves by the end of February.
Notably, growers assess the stocks of apples of other varieties as alarmingly high. They are not sure that they will sell all of them by the end of the season. At the same time, importers in Ukraine are mainly looking for Gala apples, as well as Golden, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Fuji. By the way, there are serious problems with Fuji variety this year in Ukraine, which is usually the most expensive on the market. 2021 weather conditions were not suitable for Fuji apples. Therefore, their quality leaves much to be desired and is not exportable, with prices for Fuji being at a relatively low level.
“According to growers, apples of Red Jonaprince (a clone of the Jonagold variety) and Red Chief (a clone of the Red Delicious variety) are in good demand in the domestic apple market now. There were a lot of high-quality apples of these varieties in the harvest of 2021,” says Olexandr Khorev, head of the APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits project.
According to him, it is these two varieties that now dominate the exports of apples from Ukraine. Importers from Belarus are ready to even buy apples of outdated varieties, such as Idared and Jonagold, as apple prices are very high in Belarus after its self-isolation from the EU market.
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