The average price of Polish apples rose by 46%, to EUR 187.2/MT, in the last six months (Jan ’22-Jun ’22), compared to the previous six-month average (Jul ‘21- Dec ‘21). EU apple prices rose in line with supply curtailments amid the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict, which is impacting global trade and driving inflation, particularly in the EU. According to the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA), apple stocks on 1st May 2022 were up 17.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Europe, at 1.54m tonnes. The increase is largely concerning Red Jonaprince, Jonagold, Gala and Golden Delicious apple varieties, which all rose by over 25% y-o-y. Despite the high stock levels, market uncertainty surrounding the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to intensify supply fears and keep prices firm.
EU apple exports are forecast to decline slightly, by 1.3% y-o-y to 1.07m tonnes in the 2021/22 MY, in line with tighter supplies in Italy and France. Trade has also been impacted by an embargo on EU apple exports to Belarus, introduced in retaliation to sanctions, which has left surplus supplies on the market, particularly in Poland (the top EU apple producer). On 29th June, Belarus extended this embargo until the end of 2022 (introduced initially for six months from Dec ‘21), and this is expected to continue to impact Polish apple exporters as Belarus was its largest export market during the 2020/21 season. In Poland, apple exports maintained an upward trend in the 2021/22 season compared to 2020/21, up to November. However, from December, both the volume and value of apple exports declined y-o-y, and this continued throughout 2022 up to June.