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WAPA forecast

Lower EU apple and pear volumes

The apple production in the EU has been forecast at 9,343,000 tons. The pear production is estimated at 2,148,000 tons. The forecast of apples is 21% lower than last year and 23% lower than the 2014-2016 average. For pears the estimate is 1% lower than last year and 8% lower compared to the 2014-2016 average. The apple harvest is the smallest in the last decade. The pear crop is the second smallest in the last 10 years. Only 2012 had a smaller crop. A particular point of concern this year was the intense frost during blossoming, and the drought during spring and early summer.

These figures were announced today at the Prognosfruit in Leida, Spain. The figures released at Prognosfruit leave room for careful optimism for the coming season, with a more balanced situation between supply and demand after the last three years, which registered in particular for apples, a peak crop.

Apple varieties
In regard to varieties, Golden Delicious production will decrease by 18% to 1,982,000 tons. Gala is also estimated to decrease, by 3% to 1,276,000 tons. Idared will be down by 30% to 679,000 tons, while the production of Red Delicious is estimated at 576,000 tons, which is a 9% decrease compared to last year. Also, other new varieties (i.e. club varieties) will decrease by 15%, from 157,000 tons to 133,000 tons.

Other non-EU Northern Hemiphere countries
In other non-EU Northern Hemisphere countries, significant decreases were noted: Russia (-37%), Mexico (-30%), Switzerland (-21%), Belarus (-19%), Ukraine (-10%), and Canada (-5%), while the USA is expecting a stable crop around 4,800,000 tons. Additionally, China is expecting a further growth by 3% compared to last year’s crop of 43,800,000 tons. The US apple forecast will be updated after the US Apple Outlook conference in Chicago 24-25 August.

European apple market
Over the last years the EU apple market suffered the consequences of the Russian embargo and was more recently confronted by lower export volumes to North African markets. The new crop could therefore lead to a better balance of supply. The market will start clearing stocks for most varieties, with expected good hand over from the Southern Hemisphere. Overall, the new season is due to start two weeks earlier than average.

There might be different market trends for each of the varieties, with better balance for Gala and more reduced volumes for Golden or Jonagold, and Elstar. In the coming weeks, growers will closely monitor the quality, which could still influence the balance of the market between fruit destined for the fresh market and the fruit for processing. It is currently forecast that ca 6,200,000 tons will be moving on the fresh market and 3,200,000 tons for processing.

European pear market
In regards to pears, the total European pear crop in 2017 is estimated to reach 2,148,000 tons, which is 1% lower than last year, and 8% less compared to the average of the last three years. This figure relates to the production of the top 19 Member States of the EU-28 growing pears and contributing with their data to this report. In 2017, the Conference variety will see its production decrease by 7% to 844,000 tons, and William BC will decrease by 6% to 247,000 tons. Abate F, on the other hand, is estimated to increase by 12% to reach 332,000 tons. Elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, crops increased, compared to last year, in Turkey
(+11%), Canada (+20%) and Moldova (+50%), whilst decreases are estimated for the production in Russia (-37%), Belarus (-20%), Switzerland (-34%), and the US (-3%).

The specifics: the market will be experiencing different trends between the Southern and Northern EU markets, reflected as well in higher volumes of Abate and Rocha, while the Conference pear will be down. The pear season will start with less pressure than last year. There has been some positive development in the exports to new markets during the last years, but the effects of the Russian embargo will still be felt by the growers.

Click here for the EU summary

Source: WAPA

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