For marketing year (MY) 2017/18, FAS/Ottawa forecasts an 8 percent decrease in Canadian apple production, resulting from suboptimal growing and harvest seasons. U.S. market share of Canadian imports of fresh apples is estimated to remain at 80 percent.
FAS/Ottawa forecasts a decline in Canadian imports of fresh pears and fresh table grapes in MY 2017/18 as a result of production increases on favorable weather conditions. U.S. market share of Canadian imports is estimated to remain at 50 percent for both fresh pears and table grapes.
FAS/Ottawa forecasts an 8.4 percent decline in fresh apple production for MY 2017/18, with production falling to 355,000 MT (down from 387,752 MT in MY 2016/2017). While planted area is forecast to decline slightly, there should be a slight increase in harvested area as recently planted acreage transitions from seedlings to fruit bearing acreage.
In contrast to the drought conditions that impacted the MY 2016/2017 crop, significant rain events in Ontario and, to a slightly lesser extent, Quebec negatively improved production in those two provinces while dry, hot conditions reduced production in British Columbia (BC). Though Ontario experienced some hail damage from spring and summer storms, the overall growing conditions were favorable.
Nationally, the quality of the Gala crop is reportedly decent, but Honeycrisp and Spy crops are reportedly poor. While industry sources are divided on extent of weather-related impacts on the BC crop, sources are unanimous that the size of fruit being harvested is smaller this year. Industry reports also suggest that production was down in New Brunswick, while Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia experienced an average harvest.
The United States remains the main supplier of apples to Canada with close to 80 percent of the import market. Chile has held steady as the second largest supplier for the past seven years. FAS/Ottawa forecasts a one percent decline in imports to Canada for MY 2017/2018 as a result of slightly softer domestic demand.
Tariff lines for organic apples were introduced on January 1, 2007 The United States remains the dominant export destination for fresh Canadian apples with over 70 percent of Canadian apple exports entering the United States. FAS/Ottawa forecasts a 26 percent decline in Canadian apple exports for MY 2017/2018, as a result of a decreased Canadian supply, stronger Canadian dollar, and general crop attributes. Sources have indicated that in certain growing regions the apple crop has been comprised of smaller apples with reduced marketability.
The organic fresh apple market remains small with the overall trend from MY 2010/2011 suggesting minor gains in consumption. The United States supplies 72 percent of Canadian imports of fresh organic apples.
FAS/Ottawa forecasts a five percent increase in fresh pear production, increasing to 8,000 MT for MY 2017/2018, up from 7,625 MT in MY 2016/2017.
Pear production has slowly been rebounding in Canada following several years of instability due to decreased consumption, closure of processors, and reduced profitability resulting in producer attrition and conversion to more profitable crops. The two dominant provinces for pear production are British Columbia and Ontario.
The United States remains the main supplier of fresh pears to Canada with over 50% of the import market. FAS/Ottawa forecasts a modest 2.5 percent decline in Canadian fresh pear imports for MY 2017/2018 as a result of increased production in Canada and static consumer demand. China and Argentina remain the United States’ main competitors for access to the Canadian market with China slowly gaining an increased market share.
FAS/Ottawa forecasts a 12 percent increase in fresh table grape production for MY 2017/2018 at 2,400 MT (up from 2,143 in MY 2016/2017). The majority of fresh table grapes are produced in the Niagara region of Ontario with a small percentage also being produced in British Columbia. High precipitation levels in Ontario led to disease challenges, but also resulted in a large fresh grape crop.
The majority of acreage for grape growing in Ontario is devoted to wine grapes, with the fresh table grape acreage having been in decline for the past few years. Sources suggest that acreage will remain unchanged for MY 2017/2018. While FAS/Ottawa forecasts no change for bearing area, weather conditions should drive a slight increase in productivity.
The United States remains the main supplier of fresh table grapes to Canada with over 50 percent of the import market. Chile and Mexico are the second and third largest suppliers of grape imports to Canada.
FAS/Ottawa forecasts a moderate three percent decline in Canadian imports of fresh table grapes for MY 2017/2018 as a result of an increased Canadian crop. The majority of fresh grape consumption in Canada is imported, as Canadian production falls short of total consumption. Compared to imports, Canadian exports of fresh table grapes are negligible.
Organic fresh table grape imports remain relatively small. The United States supplies approximately 70 percent of all Canadian imports of organic fresh grapes.