China, where the virus was first identified, is the world’s largest supplier of apple juice
Importers could divert their demand towards Poland, though there are concerns about the impact of the country’s mild temperatures
The coronavirus pandemic, coupled with adverse weather in Europe, could lead to global apple juice shortages. Mintec has warned.
Covid-19’s main impact stems from the fact China, where the virus was first identified, is the world’s largest supplier of apple juice, accounting for about 45% of total exports.
This would likely lead to shortages due to delays in transit from Chinese ports and cancellations of orders by traders – particularly in the US, China’s biggest customer – said Mintec analyst Rutika Ghodekar.
Unable or unwilling to take receipt of Chinese apple juice, global importers could divert their demand towards Poland, the second-largest exporter with a 14% market share, she suggested.
However, there are concerns about the impact of the country’s mild temperatures. The apple trees need around three weeks of repeated nightly freezing temperatures, which encourage dormancy that builds up energy for blooming. Mild temperatures could also encourage an early bloom, which would then leave fruitlets at risk of an unexpected freeze.
Furthermore, carryover stocks of high-acid apple juice going into the 2019/20 crop were almost exhausted due to blenders having previously secured large volumes, Ghodekar said. “This scenario is likely to be accentuated going into the 2020/21 crop.”
As a result, apple juice supplies from Poland are projected to shrink for the 2020/21 crop year, she added. “Therefore, the coronavirus outbreak in China and weather in the EU may result in contracted global apple juice supplies.”