Asia the main driver behind increasing apple consumption worldwide, report finds

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Asia the main driver behind increasing apple consumption worldwide, report finds

Market research company IndexBox has released a new report about the world apple market, looking into aspects including imports, export, production, and consumption. The organization has provided a summary of the report’s key findings.

Global Apple Consumption Continues to Grow

According to the report "World: Apple - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025", recently published by IndexBox, the apple market grew to 89.3M tonnes in 2016, which was by 2.5M tonnes (or 3%) more than the year before. Overall, there was an upward trend of apple consumption; the average annual growth rate was at +3.5% per year, over the last nine years. In wholesale prices, the market roller-coasted due to producer prices fluctuations, finally totaling $52.9B in 2016 (IndexBox estimates).

The Asian Market Is the Main Driver Behind the Increasing Apple Consumption

Apple consumption will continue to grow at a moderate pace following rising income and population growth as well as marketing programmes aimed at promoting healthy, balanced nutrition. The main driver behind the growing apple consumption will be the dynamically developing Asian market (primarily China), where thanks to sustainable urban growth and rising living standards, the demand for high-quality fruit will continue to grow. An increasing number of consumers are demanding fresh fruit, which is becoming possible due to development of storage technologies.

The performance of the market is forecast to continue its upward trend, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.0% over the nine-year period from 2016 to 2025, which is expected to bring the market volume to 107M tonnes by 2025.

China Alone Consumed approx. 48% of Total Apple Market

China (48% in 2016) dominated global apple consumption, the other major consuming countries lagged far behind: the U.S. (4%), India (3%), Turkey (3%), Iran (3%), Poland (3%) and Russia (3%). 

The highest annual growth rates of apple consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in Poland, with +15.2% growth, India and China, with +7.2% and +5.4% growth, respectively. Consequently, China significantly strengthened its share in terms of the global consumption from 41% in 2007 to 48% in 2016. Poland increased its share by only +2 percentage points; the share of India remained stable. By contrast, the share of Russia declined (-2 percentage points) over the period under review.

Amongst the leading consuming countries, high levels of per capita consumption were recorded in Poland (67.5 kg/year in 2016), Turkey (35.4 kg/year), Iran (34.7kg/year) and China (31.4 kg/year), which was significantly higher than the world average of 12.2 kg/year. In these countries per capita consumption experienced mixed trends. In Poland and China per capita consumption grew notably by +15.2% and +5.2%, respectively; Iran had a negative trend of per capita consumption (-1.8%); the level of consumption in Turkey was relatively stable.

Global Apple Production Continues to Achieve New Highs

Production of apples increased from 65.7M tonnes in 2007 to 89.3M tonnes in 2016, which correspond to 35% of growth over the last nine years. In value terms, global apple production stood at $52.8M; there was a relatively stable trend over the last four years with only mild fluctuations. Prior to that, it seesawed somewhat wildly, which was caused by producer price changes.

China Continues to Strengthen Its Leadership in the Global Production of Apples

China was the key world apple producing country with an output of about 44.4M tonnes in 2016, which accounted for half of total global output. The other major producers were the U.S. (5%), Poland (4%), Turkey (3%), India (3%), Iran (3%), and Italy (3%). 

In China, production levels increased by +5.3% annually from 2007 to 2016, largely attributed to favorable weather conditions and growth of harvested areas. Most of the other major producing countries showed growth of apples output in physical terms. In 2007-2016 annual growth rates were especially high in Poland (+14.8%), followed by India (+6.5%), Turkey (+2.0%), the U.S. (+1.3%), and Italy (+1.1%).

Approx. 10% of Global Apple Production Was Sent to Export

Apples are a widely traded commodity, with the share of exports in total global output being about 10% in 2007-2016. High trade intensity is determined mainly by the needs of imported products due to insufficient local production, especially offseason. Apples will continue to be highly traded, fuelled by increasing consumption, trade liberalization policies, intense global and regional integration. 

China, the U.S., Italy and Poland constitute the largest apple exporters worldwide

In 2016, the volume of global exports totaled 9,016K tonnes, which stood approx. at the previous year level. Global exports demonstrated a slight growth over the period from 2007 to 2016; however, somewhat noticeable fluctuations were recorded in certain years. In value terms, the global exports amounted to $7,229M in 2016. After a perceptible drop in 2009, it increased robustly over 2010-2011 and then flattened through to 2016, with the exception of 2013 and 2015, which was due to changes in prices under the influence of the current market conditions.

China (1,322K tonnes), the U.S. (1,322K tonnes), Italy (1,049K tonnes), and Poland (1,009K tonnes) were the main global suppliers of apples, followed by Chile (764K tonnes), France (573K tonnes) and South Africa (511K tonnes); all these countries together comprised a combined share of 70% of the global exports. From 2007 to 2016, Poland (+9.4% per year), the U.S. (+5.5% per year) and South Africa (+4.8% per year) were the fastest growing suppliers among the major exporters. Despite being the largest global producers of apples, Turkey, India and Iran did not export much of their production, meaning that it was consumed domestically.

Russia Remains the Largest Market for Imported Apples

The volume of global imports totaled 9,036K tonnes in 2016, which equated to $7,298 in value terms. Imports trend pattern generally mirrored that of exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. 

In 2016, Russia (790K tonnes), Germany (602K tonnes), Belarus (599K tonnes), the UK (398K tonnes), Egypt (354K tonnes), the U.S. (333K tonnes), and Spain (250K tonnes) constituted the leading destinations of apple imports, together comprising 36% of global imports. Amongst the major importing countries, Egypt (+22.4% per year) and Belarus (+23.4% per year) gained the highest annual growth rates from 2007 to 2016. At the same time, imports to Russia declined in 2014-2016 after the introduction of a ban on the supply of apples from Europe, the U.S. and other countries as a response to sanctions imposed on Russia. 

The most noticeable increase in imports to Belarus also fell on the last three years; while exports to Russia were also noticeably increasing, which may indirectly indicate that the increase in Belarus imports was supported by further re-export of products to Russia or by covering domestic consumption due to shipping of Belarus own produce to Russia. As for other countries, the share of Egypt (+3 percentage points) in terms of global apple imports increased from 2007-2016, while the shares of Germany (-2 percentage points) and the UK (-3 percentage points) decreased over the same period. The shares of the other countries remained relatively unchanged.

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