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VOG: Apple season reaches home straight
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21.07.2016 11:47

Satisfaction over the final months of the sales campaign: the comments of Director Gerhard Dichgans on the last few months and forecasts for the next harvest.

It is time for the VOG Consortium to take stock. We are coming to the end of a complex business year characterised, from the outset, by various critical elements, the most important of which including: one of the biggest ever European harvests, the strangling of Polish apple exports by the Russian embargo, and political and financial instability in North Africa.

These factors, which have exerted pressure on prices throughout the season, have persuaded VOG to focus more closely on new markets such as India and South-East Asia.

Slightly out of line compared with the European scenario, the Alto Adige-based consortium began the season having harvested 10% less than in 2014. Good sales dynamics in the autumn and winter reduced stocks which at the start of March were 14% down compared with the previous year, making it possible to face the end of the sales campaign with relative calm.

Another crucial factor: the climate and low temperatures in the spring. “The cool, rainy spring favoured apple consumption and the record sales at the end of April, May and June finally represented the turning point we were hoping for – explains Consortium director Gerhard Dichgans – Excellent demand for all red and two-tone varieties with marketing ending at the end of the June. Stocks of Pink Lady® and Kanzi® also ran out a month earlier compared with last year.” As ever, the Golden Delicious will be the variety that closes the season in September as the new 2016 harvest begins.

 “All in all the 2015/2016 season performance echoed that of the previous season. Even if prices have recovered slightly – comments Dichgans –, the European market has not yet restored its ‘pre-embargo’ balance. For producers it looks like being a second unhappy year with sale prices equal to or below production costs.”

The first forecasts on the new harvest are out. “The early blossoming and good fruit set suggest that our Consortium’s harvest will be decent, better than 2015 but below the 2014 record”, remarks Gerhard Dichgans. The forecasts are less optimistic for Fuji apples with many plants appearing to be threadbare. Good increase for Club apples especially for Pink Lady®, Kanzi® and Jazz® apples.

“The average size of the fruits is slightly higher compared with those at the same time last year. If the climate and summer temperatures give us a hand, we can finally look forward to a new sales campaign with renewed optimism.”

For more information: www.vog.it

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