European apple producers are paying the price for a bumper crop, with stocks at record levels and prices at record lows. Meanwhile, exports outside the continent are on the drop, although intra-EU trade is rising and Asia may provide an outlet in the years ahead.
According to WAPA/AMI data, total EU apple stocks stood at 3.05 million tons, as of March 1st 2019 – up from 1.77 million tons at the same point in 2018. The continent’s leading producers, Italy and Poland, both registered a huge rise in stock levels, with Italy’s stocks rising from 512,000 tons to 914,000 tons and Poland’s from 464,000 tons to 940,000 tons. Egypt is becoming an ever more important market for Polish apples. Gala is the variety which has seen most overproduction, with stocks up from 102,000 tons to 200,000 tons. Although stocks of Golden Delicious are also well up, they are actually below the average level.