The Assomela Marketing Committee held on May 13th assessed the apple market situation in Europe after the frost in late April and early May.
As regards sales and stocks on May 1st in both Italy and Europe, it is evident that the apple market is still under pressure with total stocks in Italy around 500,000 tons and above-average stocks in Europe.
Although sales in Italy are in line with what envisaged, there are quite a few differences depending on the variety.
Regardless of the excessive production in Europe, sales and quotations are strongly influenced by what happens in the various markets.
Red Delicious sales, for example, went very well in April exceeding 27,000 tons, a record figure driven by the Indian market, which has proven a key market for the cultivar this year.
As for Gala, the lively sales in April meant stocks depleted according to initial destocking plans. Sales are regular also for Granny Smith, as they do for all recently-introduced club varieties.
Braeburn stocks are still rather high due to the high production volumes and stocks available in Germany, which started to require the Italian produce only in May.
As regards Golden Delicious, stocks are in line with previous years though production was slightly lower. For this variety, the availability of superior-category apples is more limited than normal and quotations present interesting growth margins.
The Committee also analyzed the situation in Italy and other EC countries after the consistent drop in temperatures between mid-April and early May. The events of April 17th do not seem to have had particular effects.
The frost on the night between 7th and 8th May could have a more serious effect especially in southern Poland, where temperatures dropped to -3/-4°C for a prolonged period of time. Although it is hard to assess the damage, it seems reasonable to expect a significant drop in production with a lot of damaged fruit. The quality of the fruit may have been affected in other parts of Europe as well.
As for Italy, the situation is generally good, with few areas affected by the drop in temperatures. The first reports on blossoming confirm the alternating production levels of varieties such as Fuji, Red or Golden, for which production was particularly high in 2018.
The incidence of the illustrated factors is difficult to quantify, but a drop in production on a European level is expected. Of course the effect of low temperatures on fruit quality remains to be verified.
Assomela closely monitors the aspects that could modify market dynamics already during the current season.