Stable pear market despite lower yields

The 2017/2018 global pear harvest was, at 25.1 million tonnes, somewhat higher than the previous year. The positive developments in the Chinese cultivation compensated for the losses in other parts of the world. Exports are expected to remain stable at 1.7 million tonnes. Despite the growth in production, trade also remains stable. Here, again, China is making up for the decline in Argentina. Consumption is following production's trend and increased to 22.4 million tonnes. This is according to a USDA report. 

In central and western China, slightly more pears were harvested. This offsets the losses, caused by drought and heat, in the eastern part of the country. In total the harvest stands at 19 million tonnes. Exports decreased to 480 000 tonnes. The good quality resulted in higher prices, which frightened off traders from the price-conscious Asian market.

Volumes are expected to remain stable at 2.3 million tonnes. The better harvests from Italy, Spain and Greece compensated for the losses experienced in the northern EU countries. On the export market, the greater demand from Brazil compensated for the lower demand from Belarus, meaning exports remained stable at 309 000 tonnes. Imports also remained stable at 207 000 tonnes, thanks to the EU's most important supplier, South Africa's, stable production and lower yield.

With a drop of 20%, the harvest amounted to 189 000 tonnes. Imports, however, remain stable at 255 000 tonnes since the higher demand from Argentina and Turkey offset the lower supply from Belarus.

A smaller yield in Washington, the USA's most important pear-growing state, resulted in a slightly smaller harvest of 640 000 tonnes. This decrease in supply will put a little pressure on exports, decreasing them to 120 000 tonnes. In contrast, imports will increase by 7 000 tonnes to 80 000 tonnes. Supply from, in particular, China and South Korea will be higher.

The pear sector in this country is recovering and the 600 000 tonnes harvested is 70 000 tonnes higher than the previous season. This increased yield is due to favourable cultivation conditions. At the same time, the sector is becoming increasingly concentrated as a growing number of smaller farmers sell their orchards to larger companies, exporters and land developers. This remains a downward trend. The larger volumes have not directly resulted in higher exports. At 280 000 tonnes, these are marginally higher than last year. This is due to a greater demand from Brazil and Russia.

With a slight increase of 6 000 tonnes, production stands at 296 000 tonnes this year. Exports are expected to follow suit and increase with 5 000 tonnes to 155 000 tonnes. These larger volumes will mean an increase in exports to Europe.

South Africa
Drought and a smaller acreage that can be harvested have resulted in a harvest that is 27 000 tonnes smaller than the last. It is estimated that 405 000 tonnes of pears will be picked in this country. That, however, has no influence on exports, which will again come to about 250 000 tonnes.

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