Apple production in Poland is anticipated to reach 3.5m tonnes in 2019/20 compared to 5.5m tonnes in 2018/19. The recent frost during May in Poland affected the apple fruit adversely, being the main reason behind the drop-in production.
The decline in apple production would indicate a severe drop in apple juice production for the new season. Apple processors are still thriving on fruit from the previous season; however, this will shortly run out and fruit from the new crop will be required. The current situation in the market indicates that there has been a limited volume of fruit to pick in the fields as a major share of the early crop has been destroyed in the frost. In addition, the full swing harvest is not expected until mid-September.
As a result, apple juice prices in the next few weeks are forecast to inflate on the back of the inadequate production. Secondly, processors are likely to lock contracts as soon as the crop starts coming in, increasing demand in the market. There have also been concerns about the lack of high acid supplies used by the processors, due to the replacement of wild trees (which produce high acid apples) with the cultivated orchards (which produce sweeter apples), adding further pressure to the prices.
Currently, frost affected apples in Poland have already been showing an upward price movement, Mintec Polish apple prices were up 99% y-o-y and 20% m-o-m at the end of July 2019.