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>> Poland has a record apple harvest, and growers aren't happy about it. A projected 4.5 million tons of the fruit look certain to mean oversupply. That's driving prices down to a level where they don't cover production costs.>>
> This grower calls it a catastrophe. He says the current purchase price per kilo is around half the cost of production, and producers find they're also at the mercy of global politics.
Poland used to sell a million tons of apples to Russia every year. But Moscow has banned imports in retaliation for EU sanctions over its annexation of Crimea. Put it all together and some producers have decided to just let their apples rot in the orchard. The Polish government had proposed creating a state-owned company to buy the fruit at higher prices.
But they waved through a takeover of Appol, the country's largest producer of juice concentrate, by a Chinese state-owned firm.>> The takeover of Appol and the entry of Chinese into the market is a threat for Polish growers. China may become a monopoly. They're already the biggest apple producer in the world.
>> Producers say they fear a flood of cheap Chinese juice labeled as a Polish and therefore EU product. Some are thinking about growing something more profitable instead. But that wouldn't come cheap, and a first harvest would take several years to appear. That leaves some growers to give up altogether, selling off their orchards entirely.