Double increase of apple price by means of industrial storages. Myth or reality?

2020 brought quite a number of surprises not only to Ukrainian producers, but also to average consumers. Spreading the Coronavirus pandemic, destruction of logistic chains, food markets closing and abnormal weather are not the entire unexpectedness made us “happy” in the first part of 2020. Moreover, June continues maintaining reputation of the most unpredictable and unstable year. In the first summer month it was fixed at once several historic price records on fruit and vegetables products, however, in the view of the market competitors, positive price tendency on several positions can be kept for July as well.

The highest price growth demonstrate apples, which became 3 times more expensive within the year. For the moment the average trade price for apples wobbles between UAH 30-31/ kilo, and of course, this is good news for those gardeners, who was able to keep produce up to now. However, there are precious little Ukrainian farmers, which deliver big lots on the market. Lack of advanced cold storages at the majority of producers makes impossible to hold apples up to the period when prices increase. Nevertheless, in the view of the market experts, recent years interest in industrial storages is growing up.
As Anatoliy Bogdan points out, Director of Insolar-Kholod, engaged in design and construction of storages for fruit and vegetables enterprises of Ukraine and abroad, recent years producing of high quality apples is growing up, and as a result a lot of enterprises invest in a qualitative storage. “Nowadays it is impossible to get on export and working with retail chains that raise standards for products without advanced industrial storages, sorting and packing lines. Recent years a number of high-quality cold storages is growing up. Number of producers installed modern sorting and packing lines is also growing up”, – the expert comments the situation at the market.
Besides such a positive tendency, there are absolutely not enough apples at the market in May-July. In this period the majority of supply is for import products.
“For the moment modern technologies of industrial cold storages make possible to store good quality apples within the whole calendar year. Especially Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere storages have established a good reputation. This kind of storages has a number of advantages as compared to its analogues. First of all, apple storage quality in the DCA storages is much higher, products stay more solid, consequently allowing to prolong the sales period after putting on storage. Secondly, this storage type which makes possible to eliminate the scald defect and is the most visible with the green apple kinds”, – Anatoliy Bogdan enumerates the features of industrial cold storages.

It should be noted that some Ukrainian producers have already tested DCA storages and remained satisfied with the results. In particular, last year Insolar-Kholod has finished constructing of such a storage for the enterprise Sady Dnepra. In May 2020 Sady Dnepra has successfully exported Premium-quality apples to Malaysia, and it became possible not least due to a storage high quality of products.
That is why if advanced storages are available, Ukrainian apple producers are able to carry out selling of their product part in May and June, when prices for apples are getting higher. To put this into perspective, at the beginning of this season (September – November) apples cost in average UAH 10-12/ kg at the Ukrainian market, now Ukrainian producers dispatch apples starting from UAH 30/ kg.
Of course, we can say that several moments at the same time had an influence on the high price of apples this season: pour harvest in 2019, a great number of low-quality products, grew up consumption of apples during the quarantine and high-priced berries and stone fruits. But the trend of an apple price increasing by the end of the season is discernible from one year to another. And besides, the fact that Polish products are the major part of supply to the market in May-June is also traditional for the Ukrainian market. Even in the end of the record-breaking season 2018/2019 for Ukraine (according to the data from the Government Statistics it has been picked 1.47 mln tons of apples), when local farmers were selling their products per UAH 4-6/ kg in October-November, the main part of the supply was for imported apples. However, they cost in average in 2-2.5 times more expensive than in the beginning of the season. Consequently, a lot of farmers, which own advanced storages, profit by the case that they can start selling of their products at the period when supply is growing down and prices are growing up.

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