In June, a thoroughly satisfactory 2020/21 apple season for marketers slowly came to an end. In addition to the advanced thinning out of varieties, after a delayed market entry due to weather conditions, the summer fruit did reach domestic fruit shelves in the end. In line with the season, access to domestic dessert apples fell significantly week by week.
Nevertheless, the AMA wholesale prices for dessert apples, sorted and packed, were once again able to keep up with the previous month, even if a slight downward trend of – 3.4% can be observed across all reported varieties. While the prices of Gala varieties at 0.92 EUR/kg (+1.1%) and Jonagold at 0.84 EUR/kg (- 1.1%) moved sideways compared to the previous month of May, Golden Delicious dropped by 6.4%, at 0.73 EUR/kg. Nationwide stock levels (organic and conventional) recorded by AMA amounted to 27,906 tons on June 01. By the start of the new harvest, with one exception, almost all varieties will have been sold. For the Golden Delicious group, the weak European stock level of -16% y-o-y should continue to offer lucrative storage opportunities, especially for export.
Apple price development of selected varieties: wholesale price ex ramp Class I, conventional, incl. packaging and grading, excl. VAT, all sales units in EUR/kg. Photo: AMA
New domestic crop on carrot market, producer prices unchanged
During the month, more and more stock was supplemented or replaced by newly harvested carrots. A slowly increasing supply met a very quiet domestic demand due to the heat. The Lower Austrian producer price for carrots, new crop in5-kg bag was unchanged from previous weeks at an average of 47.50 EUR/dt, exactly the same as last year. Thus far, it has not been possible to implement the traditional price premiums.
Entry of domestic winter onions, producer prices at last year’s levels
After the end of the season when domestic storage onions became scarce and the trade had to support them with imports, the first batches of this year’s winter onion crop arrived at the end of the month. Average yields per hectare are reported, of good quality.
Lower Austrian producer prices, on the other hand, went up and down in June. Last but not least, the Lower Austrian producer price for onions loose, new crop, sorted in boxes, had come close to the previous year’s level with an average of 32.50 EUR/dt. With increasing availabilities, more price concessions from farmers and marketers are becoming likely.
Early potato harvest in full swing, producer prices down
The Austrian early potato harvest was in full swing in mid-June. Yields of around 35 t per hectare were recently reported from Burgenland and Styria. In Lower Austria, yield levels were slightly lower at 20 to 30 t. In the very early areas, the areas have now been largely cleared. Heurige are now available on the market from all provinces.
June sales of early potatoes were initially quite dynamic, but as the heat continued, demand leveled off again. with this increasing availability, producer prices for early potatoes in Lower Austria fell. While an average of 49.00 EUR/dt had to be paid in the middle of the month, marketers were already paying an average of 28.00 EUR/dt towards the end of the month.
Due to the persistent heat and drought and the associated subdued yield prospects of the subsequent varieties, the negative spiral in selling prices will probably come to an end sooner than usual.