The apple and walnut seasons in Hungary are set to end next week, which is a few weeks earlier than previous years. Máté Tömösváry, from Balaton-ker-Tész, says it was a really bad year for the apple sector in this central European country, with a very hot summer, no rain and lower prices. “To avoid high cooling and storage costs many producers opted to sell as much as they could, flooding the market, leading to lower prices.”
We have one more week to go for our apple harvesting, hopefully we will finish next week. We are also finishing the walnuts with only a few pallets left. Hopefully we will finish both seasons sooner. Both seasons are definitely shorter. Laster year we were sending trucks to buyers almost to the start of December. This year the cost of storage can be incredibly high,” states Tömösváry.
“The controlled atmosphere storage of apples is a big challenge. The apple market is very hard. No one wants to put the apples into fridges, everyone sent apples to the market immediately. Our season was a bit harder, this year everybody had to reduce prices. However, the industrial prices were still good and better than last year. Apples suffered the biggest damages in the hot summer, besides the cherries.
“In Hungary when the time for blushing came there was frost. After that there was very low rainfall all summer long. Everything bad that could happen, occurred to the apple season this year. It was a bad year for sure. There could be limited supply of apples sometime in next year, usually the producers are selling apples at the start of April or March, but they will run out sooner next year, I guess. That is because price of cooling is very high right now. If these cooling and storage prices are high and apple prices are low, it can be very dangerous. It will take some serious money to cool apples. We have to supply apples to the Hungarian school fruit program and we will store apples until April for this,” explains Tömösváry.
Walnut harvesting ended
He says the walnut harvesting ended about 3 weeks ago with the last nuts being cracked and dried. “We are selling locally as well as mostly to Germany and Austria. These are our main markets. The prices are moving in the same range as last year. It is not as good because inflation is high. It is a bit of a deficit on last year’s prices. Overall we are happy because the market is good for walnuts all season long.
“We had around 400 hectares all together. But we have a lot of new orchards, with the active orchards standing at 250 hectares. It was an average year of walnut harvesting. It was nothing special, not bad or good. We had no rain during the summer but walnut trees are really big, the roots are very deep. If rain does not come, it reaches deep into areas to get water. The walnut quality is excellent this year. We are happy about that. When we crack the walnuts, the inside was very nice,” concludes Tömösváry
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