Spot pricing for apple juice concentrate out of Europe has declined about 3 percent this month from four weeks ago, with the low end of the range now below $7 per gallon and average pricing around $7.60. European AJC is very close to year-ago pricing.
AJC from China is still less expensive, averaging around $7.50 per gallon and with some low offers around $7.35. However, current pricing for Chinese AJC is about 10-15 cents higher than late January offers. China is still trying to regain market share with lower prices—current spot pricing is 7 percent lower YOY—but the spread between Chinese and European AJC averaged just 36 cents in February, down from 90 cents in Nov-Dec and 65 cents last month.
Nominal pricing for domestic AJC is around $8.00 per gallon, compared to around $8.45 a year ago.
The U.S. imported 55.5 million single-strength-equivalent gallons of apple juice in December, a strong gain over November but down 18 percent YOY. Cumulative imports in 2019 were 401.8 million SSE gallons, down 20 percent from 2018.
China’s share of U.S. AJC imports rose steadily during Sep-Dec, hitting 65 percent in December. China was able to increase its share by virtue of the month’s higher import volume, most of which it captured. Apple juice from Europe (including Turkey) totaled about 15.8 million SSE gallons; Turkish apple juice accounted for over 40 percent of that volume.
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