War in Ukraine makes exporting apples to Kazakhstan or Mongolia ‘almost impossible’
The war in Ukraine had great consequences for Poland as a country. 100,000 war refugees cross the Polish border every day, while Ukrainian male employees in Poland return to their home country to defend it. Naturally, the situation also caused difficulties for the export of apples.
Jakub Krawczyk, export manager for Polish apple exporter Appolonia, says Poland is doing what it can to help the Ukrainian people in this time of war: and organizing basic needs here in Poland. All Poles are concerned; private companies, government officials or just ordinary people, they try to do everything to help our neighbors in these difficult times of war.
“The situation also has a huge impact on the apple sector. We have some big problems; apple sales are low, as there is a decrease in fruit consumption and of course the rising cost of energy, petrol and gas. There is a shortage of skilled employees like truck, forklift and tractor drivers,” says Krawczyk. “Eastern markets are currently closed to us. It has been more than two months since the embargo on Belarus started and it has had a huge negative effect on apple sales in Poland. The Russian embargo is really bad for us, but the belarusian embargo is even worse, because belarus was one of the biggest importers of our apples, this means that we all have less orders at the moment and many companies are not operating at full capacity , contrary to what they were before the embargo.
Overall, apple consumption seems to be down from the usual level, says Krawczyk: “We feel the decrease in apple consumption both in the Polish domestic market and in the rest of Europe. Currently, apple stocks in Western Europe are quite large, and orders for Polish apples from this region are much lower than normal. Having a war right behind the European Union border has caused gas costs to rise significantly, and obviously those costs will have an effect on everything else.
Due to the conflict in Ukraine, road transport to Kazakhstan or Mongolia is a difficult thing to organize according to Krawczyk: “I would say it is almost impossible at the moment. There are also fewer sales to Serbia. But the conflict has also caused a shift in the container industry, as container availability has dropped dramatically. Sales to Egypt were therefore much more difficult and Egypt is a very large importer of Polish apples. There’s also been a new law in Egypt that only allows a letter of credit as a payment condition, which has really slowed down orders to that region. A lack of containers also means fewer sales opportunities to Asia and the Middle East.
Normally, the price of apples would increase at this time of year, as storing apples increases the costs for exporters. However, currently the price of apples is falling, says Krawczyk. “Over the past few weeks, the price of apples in Poland has fallen slightly, but normally at this stage of the season prices should increase, due to increased storage costs. Over the past week, there have been no price changes that we have noticed. The cost of food increases because of the war, but the price of apples does not increase at the same level. We think the season is going to be tough, conflicts have blocked our sales, we are encountering some difficulties with logistics and sometimes with payment terms. Problems that are usually just a few obstacles in the road have now combined with war to create this negative situation. It is not a guarantee that the situation will remain as bad, but we must monitor the situation in each market to see how we can react.
“I think Polish apples are a good option for importers, because they can choose from many varieties, the quality is always very good and we can supply very large quantities. Producers like us will be happy to start cooperating with new partners, and even though many problems are piling up, we still want to move forward to bring healthy food to every table. concludes Krawczyk.
For more information:
Tel: +48 785 342 930
Email: [email protected]