Globally about berries
Raspberries, blackberries and red currants continue to grow in popularity in most countries, with red currants lagging slightly behind the other two berries in some places. In Europe the demand is growing and the supply varies from local production to import from America and Africa at the same time the prices are growing as well. In South Africa, the growing interest in blueberries has increased the popularity of the segment as a whole, with raspberries and blackberries in particular seeing benefit from this. Heavy rains during the growing seasons in Mexico and Australia have had some effects on the volume and quality of berries, although the damage in Australia has been limited due to the protection of covered cultivation.
A traditional part of every holiday meal includes some type of cranberry dish. Regardless of how people choose to incorporate cranberries into their meal or traditions, we can say it is a much sought-after item for winter holidays. Unfortunately the cultivated cranberries are very sensitive to heat stress and the climate change with more extreme and hotter weather is a serious threat for the production of this red berry. That is why some U.S. researchers have recently started working to preserve cranberries’ production. The main goal of the research is to discover the potential of the wild cranberries genes that make them more resistant and use this genome segments to create new more resilient cranberry varieties.
Let’s talk about apples and pears!
September and October are peak picking months for apples and pears.
The top three European apple producers are Poland , Italy and France. Poland is also the 3rd producer globally after China at 1st position and USA – 2nd. This year the apple harvest is expecting to be good. The top apple varieties are Elstar in Netherlands and the cheaper polish Jonagold. The prices are expected to be more or less at the at the same level of last year.
This year is expected that the Netherlands will be Europe's top pear producer even though that the pear harvest is a bit disappointing. There are fewer pears on the bottom of the trees but enough on the tops. The less pears on the tree will result in bigger size.
In contrast, non-EU countries (China, Ukrain, Russia, US and Canada) are expecting somewhat larger pear harvests.
Serbian blueberry production and export on the rise
Blueberry plantations in Serbia have seen explosive growth in the past five years, and have reached 2,500 hectares in acreage, producing more than 6,000 tons and the acreage is still rapidly growing. Blueberry plantations are large and use the latest technology and practices in both production and trade.
This season was very favorable for blueberry producers and exporters, since in Serbia the blueberry harvest comes at least two weeks earlier than in other European countries. The value of exported blueberries in June and July was above 20 million euro.
The biggest global raspberry producers are: Russia, Mexico, Serbia and the United States. Poland takes 5th place with 9% in 2019. At the same time Poland is the leader among EU countries (51% share of production (2020 data)). Poland exports between 7-23 % of its fresh raspberry harvest and 41-73 % of frozen (based on the last 8 year overview).
This year raspberries season in Poland started 2 weeks later mainly due to bad weather conditions with prices 46% more expensive than at the beginning of last year’s season. Eventhough at the midd season the quantities increased, still the demand was higher than the supply so prices remained high. At the same time, over in Serbia, the raspberry season was in full swing – with high prices partially driven by demand for IQF fruit. However, temperatures were very high – reaching close to 40°C – which is causing fruits such as raspberries and sour cherries to stop ripening and occasionally dry up. Now close to the end of the season, it looks that it will finish like it started with extremely high prices based on lower quantities.
Raspberries are also difficult in 2021.
The crop of raspberries seems to be every year more and more complicated which of course result in higher prices.
In 2021, the demand for fresh market is very high in East-Europe as well and the available quantities are low. There is not much space for frozen raspberries. Especially frozen raspberries from Poland and Serbia are difficult to find. The industry is looking for alternative varieties and countries to source from.
It's the first time that Fruit Layer is offering it's customers raspberries from Bulgaria, and more specifically the Heritage variety. Prices for these raspberries are lower as the traditional Polana (from Poland) or Willamette (from Serbia) variety. On the other hand, the available quantities are not as high as in the other countries as cultivation of raspberries happens in Bulgaria on a smaller scale.
Reason for the low quanitites of raspberries in Poland or Serbia are late hailstorms which were destroying a part of this fragile fruits.
War between retailers is boosting sales at low prices.
Sales in banana's is high as retailers keeping prices very low. The high consumption is noted in all Europe and especially in Spain were there is generally a high consumption of banana's. Also retailers in Spain are fighting hard. Aldi is trying to expand a lot in Spain and Lidl don't want to stay behind. Mercadona also fights for their market share so the circle is round.
Also outside Spain retailers are using banana's in their fruit section for triggering customers. It seems that consumption will stay high the next period and that we will not pay more for them.
Though times for mango.
The market for mango is very unpredictable. And so are the prices. India, a big supplier for mango is suffering hard from the pandemic and there is a big oversupply.
For Western Europe prices seems quite stable while in South Europe there seems to be having poor demands. Italy has a low consumption and outside Europe it seems demand is relatively high. It looks like there will be a lot of trading in this fine fruit!
Season is very good for melons.
After a bad year in 2020, South American farmers are expecting a very good 2021.
The quality is very high and the stocks are higher than last year. Main producing countries like Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala give all positive signs. The farmers need a good season again. Although the season started bit later than normal, big quantities should arrive starting week 14 till 18. The demand is high, but normally the available quantities will meet the demands. Last years there is an increase of demand from Europa and Asia.
The only problem they now face is the lack of available containers to ship the fruits around the world and the actual high container prices. That will be surely a difficult challenge.
Popular apple varieties in high demand.
The global apple market notices a growing popularity on certain apple varieties.
Especially popular varieties like Jonagold are in high demand and prices go up. Although new varieties of apples are coming up almost every day there seems to be a tradition on certain varieties which always have a stable market. Countries like Azerbeidjan, Poland, Ukrain see the interest in certain varieties and 'branding' their own apples. This could lead in the near future to more competition on the market. While their apples are now a lot of times used in industrial environments like juice manufacturers they realise there could be more opportunities with their apples.
It looks like their will be the coming years more "A" grade apples available and less for industrial purposes. This moving trend makes it hard for jam and juice producers but also for pastry bakers to find their apples and processed apples in the coming years. From the other hand apples from not as convenient countries are more and more offered to foreign markets. While Iran, India and Russia had always quite a big production of apples it is not well known in Western Europe and experts believe these origins of apples will have to be looked at for our industry.