The Mintec price of Chinese apple juice in the US rose by 1.4% m-o-m to USD 10.94/gallon in September 2022 due to limited volumes of apple concentrate available in China. Prices continue to rise in line with supply shortages due to the low availability of apples for processing, resulting from unfavourable weather in many apple producing regions across China throughout flowering. Higher apple prices will directly drive apple juice prices higher, which will lead to a decline in competitiveness of Chinese AJC in the export markets. According to market sources, this is likely to drive key buyers from the US and South Africa to alternative markets, such as Europe, to avoid paying a premium.
The Mintec Benchmark Prices for EU high acid apple juice declined by 2.9% in September 2022 to €1,360/MT due to higher estimates for the 2022/23 MY apple production. According to market sources, weather is favourable in Poland (top apple producer) for this time of year. The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) forecasts apple production in Poland for the 2022/23 crop at 4.5 million tonnes, up 5% on last season.
Demand is reportedly strong and many buyers are eager to lock in longer term positions. However, numerous producers are reluctant to enter into contracts amid higher processing costs, particularly energy, and this could support higher prices in the coming months. The premium for low acid supplies over high acid supplies within Europe is being maintained due to a lower availability of apples from Ukraine. If low acid supplies remain tight and the price doesn’t ease, higher acidity prices will need to rise as well as buyers start to adjust their blends.