Good forecast for apple business announced by WAPA

Good forecast for apple business announced by WAPA


The association estimates that the EU apple harvest in 2020 will be the lowest in three years – even 1% lower than the 2019 apple harvest.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) hosted the annual Porgnosfruit conference yesterday, August 6, 2020, during which the forecast of apple and pear production for the European Union was announced. The association estimates that the EU apple harvest in 2020 will be the lowest in three years – even 1% lower than the 2019 apple harvest.

EastFruit analysts believe that the apple production forecast is good news for gardeners from Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine and other countries of the region, since, if confirmed, the price level for apples in the EU in the new season may remain at a relatively high level.

This forecast turned out to be significantly lower than the preliminary expectations of the market. Earlier, representatives of the apple industry believed that the apple harvest in the EU would be at a level close to the average, but the forecast turned out to be as much as 7% or almost 0.8 million tons below the average for the last five years, which significantly changes the situation on the apple market.

Last year, the preliminary forecast for WAPA was later raised, which is quite natural, as gardeners tend to underestimate the expectations of the apple harvest. However, this may not happen again this year – after all, EU farmers fear a shortage of labor when harvesting apples, especially against the background of the second wave of coronavirus, which is observed in some EU countries and Eastern Europe. This can lead to the loss of some of the apple harvest.

By the way, in Poland, apple production is expected to grow by 17% compared to 2019 to 3.4 million tons, but the harvest will still be lower than the average for the last three years by 4%. In France, the forecast was unexpectedly low – a 13% decline to 1.4 million tonnes – the lowest production level in many years. In Italy, the forecast for apple production remained practically unchanged for the year – at 2.08 million tons and above the average for three years by 3%. Germany, according to preliminary estimates, will receive 4% less apple than in 2019 but 6% more than the average over the past three years.

EastFruit analysts note that in Russia, the largest apple importer in the world, everyone is talking about a poor apple harvest and massive frost losses, but colleagues from Fruit-Inform believe that due to the entry into fruiting of new orchards, Russia will even increase production volumes. Thus, according to our forecasts, taking into account the decrease in the income of the local population in 2020, the import of apples to the Russian Federation may even decrease.

“During the EastFruit Apple Outlook conference, we showed that the total apple production in three key exporting countries of the region: Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine will grow by 3.6% or 80 thousand tons. It will also be 10% or 220 thousand tons higher than the average for 5 years. Of these countries, only Moldova is expected to decline in production. However, one must also take into account the factor of a possible increase in production in Turkey and Iran, where the apple harvest may grow by 0.8-1.0 million tons compared to last year, an increase in production in Central Asia and Georgia by 0.4 million tons by 2019 and a possible, insignificant increase (but still it is 0.3-0.4 million tons) of the apple harvest in China, which may turn out to be a record, ”notes Andriy Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“It should also be remembered that for two years in a row the weather in Europe was abnormally cold and unfavorable for early stone fruits and berries, which also stimulated the consumption of apples. In addition, the first shock from the coronavirus boosted the demand for this fruit in the EU, but it is difficult to predict whether the demand will remain at the same high level. Undoubtedly, the factor in favor of the apple is that it is the most affordable fruit, but this is far from the main factor for consumers in the EU. But the decline in demand for apples in countries where it is an exotic fruit and in countries that are dependent on tourism may be significant. Therefore, in spite of the fact that the WAPA forecast is very favorable for our region, we should not forget about other factors, ”notes Andriy Yarmak.

Read also: Exports of apples and pears from New Zealand to exceed $ 1.3 billion by 2030

If we talk about varieties, then the changes in yield forecasts are the most interesting. The exporters of our region are especially pleased with the expected decrease in the harvest of apples of the “Golden Delicious” variety by 13% compared to last year to 1.96 million tons. It is the most popular variety in the region among the producers of the region, for which there may be good export demand in the new season.

But the harvest of another popular variety, whose areas are actively expanding in Eastern Europe, will be a record one. The harvest of Gala apples is projected to reach 1.49 million tons and will grow by 4%.

Harvest “Red Delicious” will reach 660 thousand tons and will be 3% lower than last year, but will remain at the average level for three years.

There will be 1% more apples of the “Idared” variety. But this is an insignificant growth, since its production will fall by 25% against the average for three years. Polish farmers continue to massively abandon apple orchards of this variety, and growth will be possible only due to significantly lower frost losses in 2020.

The largest drop in production in percentage terms is expected for the Jonagold variety – 21% by 2019 and 27% on average over three years. Like Idared, this variety is leaving the market, and Jonagold’s orchards are actively grubbing up. Absolutely identical situation according to “Jonagored”.

The fastest growing production of new club varieties, however, their share in the total production remains insignificant.

“If we talk about apple price forecasts for Ukraine and Moldova, then, most likely, the new season will start with a fairly high price level, exceeding the level of the 2019/20 season. However, it cannot be ruled out that in the second half of the season, apple prices will already be lower than in the past. True, it is extremely difficult to make predictions at the present time, given the huge uncertainty with the covid19 pandemic, with the labor force, with the income of the world’s population, and many other unpredictable factors, ”says Andriy Yarmak.

The WAPA forecast for the pear turned out to be less positive than for the apple. Pear production in the EU will grow by 12% to 2.2 million tonnes and will be 1% above the three-year average.


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