USDA: EU Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual

EU 2019/20 commercial apple production forecast to decrease by 19 percent

The EU is one of the leading producers and consumers of apples in the world. Poland (25 percent of total EU production in MY 2019/20), Italy (21 percent), France (15 Percent), Germany (9 percent), and Spain (6 percent) are the top five producing MS and together account for 75 percent of the total EU commercial apple production.

Commercial apple production in MY 2019/20 is forecast to decrease by 19 percent compared to the record harvest in the previous year and 3 percent compared to the average of the previous ten years. The decrease is due to a combination of late spring frosts (Czech Republic, northern- and north-eastern Germany, Poland, Hungary), poor pollination (Hungary, Romania), drought/heat (Austria, Poland, UK), and hail damage (Hungary, Greece). France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria report higher production than in MY 2018/19 but the combined increase is not large enough to compensate for the reduction elsewhere. Spain and Portugal benefited from more rain and cooler temperatures than usual, while the drought in Netherlands was less severe in 2019 than it had been in 2018.

In the EU, approximately 25 apple varieties are produced commercially in volumes exceeding 10,000 MT. Among these, Golden Delicious, Gala types, and Jonagold types (Jonagold, Jonagored, Red Jonaprince) are the dominant varieties. However, production patterns vary. While Golden Delicious is the variety with the largest production in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, Jonagold is dominant in Germany and Belgium; Idared is the number one variety in Poland and Hungary.

In contrast, Gala achieves its position as the second most produced apple in the EU by being grown in numerous MS rather dominating in a few. New varieties, for example Pink Lady, Kanzi, Rubens, Tentation, and Kiku, have increased their share of production in recent years. Slovakia, the Netherlands, and the UK have the highest share of “new” varieties in their production portfolio with 13, 12, and 10 percent of their respective total production.

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