For 2018/2019, New Zealand apple production is forecast at 561,000 tons, three percent less than 2017/2018. This crop should, however, still produce an export volume of 368,300 tons only 1,000 tons less than the total for 2017/2018.
The apple harvest area is forecast to be up four percent at 9,835 hectares (ha) in 2018/2019. Good growing conditions going into the summer (January to February 2019) had the industry advisors expecting a large crop, however, fruit sizes at harvest were well down compared to the previous year. As a result total apple production for 2018/2019 is estimated at 561,000 tons, three percent below 2017/2018 and a four percent downward revision.
Total apple production for 2017/2018 has been revised upward again to 575,500 tons, ten percent higher than 2016/2017 and a one percent upward revision. This a direct result of the very good production season that was boosted by larger fruit sizes.
Observers forecasts 2018/2019 apple exports at 368,300 tons, which would be just over 1,000 tons less than 2017/2018 but a six percent downward revision. The decrease is primarily due to the reduced production resulting from the smaller average fruit size. Actual apple exports for 2017/2018 were 369,389 tons, up seven percent on 2016/2017.
The extra apple production in 2017/2018 combined with the lower export pack-out proportion was likely to have significantly boosted the processing volume. It is now estimated at 132,775 tons, a ten percent revision.
Domestic consumption of apples is expected to only vary by 500 tons either side of 73,000 tons for both 2018/19 and 2017/18, with no discernible trends.
Pear production for 2018/19 is forecast at 12,000 tons, 12 percent less than 2017/2018. Hence, pear exports for 2018/19 are also reduced by 14 percent at 4,150 tons. For 2017/2018, pear production is estimated at 13,612 tons, which is a 16 percent increase on 2016/2017. Pear exports in 2017/2018 actually reached 4,812 tons.