The higher prices for apples in Poland can easily be explained, lighter crops and the same demand leads to an increase in price. It’s simple math. One trader who works from Poland, but has very close ties to its mother company in India, claims some Polish traders are taking advantage of the situation by inflating their prices too much.
Although their mother company is based in India, Fruitways works from Poland to buy apples directly from growers and export them to India. Saurabh Tanwar is the managing director for Fruitways. “Our mother company in India is a very large player. We import a lot of produce from Poland, Chile and South Africa. To cut out the middle men, we have established enterprises in these countries ourselves. This way we can buy directly from the growers and then export the produce to India at a lower price. We only just started in Poland but last season we shipped 60 containers. Even though the volumes are less this year, we intend to increase our exports to India to about 100 containers.”
The mother company in India also imports Valencia and Navel oranges from South Africa, and apples, kiwis and walnuts from Chile and avocados from Mexico. “The reason we started our business model as we run it, is you can never be sure if you’re getting the correct prices if you work from India alone. Take the Polish for example. Some of the exporters are taking advantage of the current situation by inflating their apple prices. Now I understand that lesser volumes mean higher prices, but I honestly think they have increased them too much. The big companies are the big winners here. We can export to India for 1.00 EUR per kg and still turn a profit for our Polish enterprise. Some Polish exporters are charging 1.05 EUR per kg. It’s a small increase but it really adds up if you’re talking about hundreds of containers.”
“Since our mother company is a family business, we can trust the people we work with in Chile, Mexico, South Africa and of course Poland. We focus on the Indian market by supplying our own mother company, but we also supply separate clients in India. For the first few years of this enterprise we will not focus on other markets,” Tanwar continues. “But eventually we might decide to branch out. The reason we don’t want to do this too quickly is our complete knowledge of everything that happens on the Indian markets, thanks to our Research and Development team. We even know what produce is coming in at the Indian ports, including the prices that were paid for them. We use this information to take advantage and adjust our prices and strategy accordingly.”
As for Fruitways’ own apples, Tanwar expects to be able to supply India with Royal Galas right up to the end of March. “Indian apples are currently available, so shipments are of smaller quantities right now. However by the time December passes we’ll be in full swing, sending about 6 containers every week.”
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