Despite some minor challenges and disruptions caused by the pandemic, deciduous fruit production in New Zealand is forecast to expand in 2019/2020, with apple production expected to reach a record level of 593,000 metric tons. Apple exports are also forecast to be up, rising over two percent to 400,000 metric tons in 2019/2020. This follows an almost six percent increase in exports in 2018/2019.
For 2019/2020, the apple harvested area is forecast at 10,180 hectares (ha), a 3.5 percent increase over 2018/2019. Although there has been a strong trend in recent years for area increases, the Covid-19 outbreak and responses to it are likely to severely limit new plantings in CY2020.
FAS/Wellington forecasts 2019/2020 apple production at 593,000 metric tons (MT), 2.8 percent greater than 2018/2019, but just under one percent less than the previous estimate. The year-on-year increase is due to an expanded harvested area and a good growing season. However, Covid-19 impacts during harvesting and packing have slightly reduced production prospects.
Total apple production for 2018/2019 is now estimated at 576,850 MT, just 1,350 MT (0.2 percent) greater than 2017/2018.