European apple leaders set sights on Asia
Apples took centre stage this month at the Asia Fruit Logistica ON virtual conference. Speakers from across the sector noted that demand is constantly increasing in Asia for European apples, with predictions of a significant expansion in the next decade. According to Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting, ASEAN markets imported 900,000 tons in 2019, with India leading the way, importing 250,000 tons (-11%). China remains the largest apple supplier to Asia, exporting 915,000 tons in 2019, up 37%. Europe exported 179,000 tons to Asia in 2019, mainly to India and Malaysia. Tariffs on US fruit and bans on Chinese apples mean that Europe is now the number-one apple exporter to India.
Marc Peyres of Blue Whale said that European suppliers are focusing more on new varieties that are tailored to the specific tastes of Asian markets, such as Candine. Meanwhile, Italy’s leading apple exporters have created the FROM partnership to join forces in certain markets such as India. Nicola Zanotelli, director of FROM, noted that they were developing a specific taste for the market, while promoting brands, enhancing storable quality and shortening transit time.