Europe: Good apples sales expected to continue through rest of season, says VOG
Italian apple consortium VOG says the European sales season has got off to a good start and is expected to remain strong.
That is thanks largely to a small crop this year, which has ended up being even lower than previously expected.
VOG's integrated production totaled 458,000 metric tons (MT), which is down 10% year-on-year, while organic apples were 18% lower at 16,800MT. The main causes were the sharp reduction in fruit size and, in some areas, also hail and frost damage.
The crop was smaller than in 2018 right across Europe as well, with one of the lowest totals of the last 10 years.
In sales terms, the 2019-20 season is going well. One of the smallest apple crops Europe-wide is providing a good basis for a positive season, although the relatively high stocks from the previous year were something of a problem at the start.
The geographical breakdown of crop sizes was also dramatically different from in 2018. In fact, there were large production shortfalls above all in northern and eastern Europe, partially compensated by high outputs in the south.
This has led customers to modify their buying patterns, covering some of their needs from new growing areas.
"For VOG specifically, the season has gone well so far, with sales sharply higher than the previous year, although prices have not always come up to expectations, especially at the beginning of the season," said Klaus Hölzl, VOG Consortium sales manager.
"The positive sales trend has continued during the early weeks of 2020, and since availability is expected to fall during the second half of the season, this upward trend should continue, with good results."
Significantly, the VOG Consortium's stocks at the start of February are 15% below the 2019 level. Consumer prices continue to be relatively low, providing excellent purchase incentives.
"It is no coincidence that we are among Europes and global leaders in the apple industry, and nowadays our area is strongly linked to this fruit in most people's minds," VOG Consortium CEO Walter Pardatscher said.
"The VOG Consortium has focused strongly on quality ever since its foundation. Today, we offer our clientele the widest range of the best apples available on the market, thanks to production know-how and investments in research and development."