“The Turkish apple season has started very well, despite some problems with the Gala variety,” says Alper Kerim, owner of Turkish fruit exporter Demir Fresh Fruits. “The Turkish apple season started quickly compared to previous years. The Gala variety had some size and coloring problems caused by the weather conditions during the summer. We also started loading Red Delicious immediately after they were harvested. was very surprising to us, because the demand for the red varieties started very early.”
The apple harvest in India is significantly lower than normal, leading to domestic supply problems, Kerim explains. “India is experiencing a lower apple harvest this year and the south of India has suffered greatly. Indian apple production mainly takes place in the north of the country. Due to local transport problems, the apples grown in India reach the south side only in very small quantities. The demand for imported apples has increased enormously in the southern regions, which makes sense because consumers still want to eat apples.”
Although it is tempting to introduce lower quality apples to the Indian market, this is not the ambition of Demir Fresh Fruits, says Kerim. “This demand leads to opportunities, but for our company the challenge is not in the quantities we can supply. It must always be about quality, because it concerns fresh and perishable products. That is why I believe that the use of the latest systems in growing and packaging give an exporter an advantage. Demir Fresh Fruits has more than sufficient capacity, but we always shut down the line if we notice something in terms of quality during the season. So far the quality has been great , which makes it difficult to estimate when our apple supplies will run out.”
With such high demand, it is no surprise that prices were also higher than last season. Kerim wonders whether these prices can be maintained by consumers. “Prices have started this season at a higher level. If you compare these prices with those of last year, the increase is between 15 and 20%. I am not sure if these prices are sustainable in the Indian market. But because there demand is very high at the moment, importers are happy to pay prices at this time. I expect demand to slow down in November and December. High demand should then return after March.”
Turkish apples will have to convince consumers, because they also have other options in terms of origin. “For Turkish apples in the Indian market, the direct competitors are apples from Poland and Iran due to pricing and quality. My experience in the market has taught me that Turkish apples are in the middle of Polish and Iranian apples in terms of quality. That said , Turkish apples have an advantage in terms of transportation, which means that the market share of Turkish apples will be significantly higher than that of the competition,” Kerim concludes.
For more information:
Demir Fresh Fruits
+90 532 514 2080