New Zealand 2018 apple and pear crop forecast released

NZ apple growers choosing new varieties over old

The New Zealand apple and pear industry is forecasting a modest gross crop for 2018, according to the annual crop estimate just released. A forecast gross crop of 576,172 metric tonnes, is down on forecast for 2017 and similar to that achieved in 2015.

New Zealand Apples & Pears Chief Executive, Alan Pollard, says that “Growing conditions this season have been exceptional, we have had enough rain to ensure all regions have good quantities of irrigation water, and sunlight and warmth are at the best levels since 1998. These factors are setting up another high-quality apple and pear crop that New Zealand is renowned for”.

Notable in this year’s forecast is the continued trend away from some of the more traditional varieties. “We expect Braeburn to be down around 4% on last year’s volumes, and Cox Orange as much as 16%” says Pollard. “The basket of products offered by the New Zealand industry has significantly changed since 2005. In 2005, Royal Gala and Braeburn accounted for about 77% of New Zealand’s exported varieties. Today, no one variety accounts for more than 30%, with a much more diverse range of varieties now on offer”.

Overall fruit size is marginally larger than 2017, with the season running early in all regions. “The Hawkes Bay, which accounts for about 65% of our export crop, is running about 10 to 14 days earlier than the last two years; while Nelson which accounts for about 25% of the export crop is about 3 to 5 days earlier” Pollard says.

The area planted in apples and pears continues to increase at about 3% per annum and is now at 9,810 hectares.

For more information:
Alan Pollard
New Zealand Apples & Pears
+64 21 576 109

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