World apple production for 2018/19 is projected to plunge 5.7 million tons from the previous year to 68.7 million, its lowest level in 8 years, as China sustained substantial losses from damaging weather that more than offsets gains in the European Union (EU). Reduced output is expected to force exports lower by nearly half a million tons to 5.7 million, while diminished export-quality supplies depress consumption and bump up processing.
China’s production is estimated to tumble to its lowest level in 9 years, dropping 25 percent to 31.0 million tons as April frost and heavy rain and hail in May caused significant crop damage in major producing provinces. With lower supplies, exports are also expected to plunge, falling nearly one-third to 880,000 tons. Imports are projected up 12,000 tons to 75,000 as greater shipments from New Zealand and the European Union more than offset lower supplies from the United States. The United States currently remains China’s top Northern Hemisphere supplier though it continues to face a 50-percent retaliatory tariff.
EU production is expected to rebound from last year’s frost, surging 40 percent to 14.0 million tons as a mild winter leads to increases in harvested area and also improves yield. A significant jump in shipments to Egypt and India, spurred by higher supplies, is expected to help drive exports up nearly 500,000 tons to 1.2 million while imports are set to contract to 470,000 tons on lower import demand.