Argentina to produce more apples, pears in 2011 season, USDA says
A combination of good weather and more plantations entering production are expected to raise Argentina’s apple yield to 990,000 metric tons (MT) in the calendar year (CY) 2011, up from an estimated 830,000 MT in CY 2010, according to the report. Of this, 230,000 MT are expected to be exported, compared with 180,000 MT in CY 2010.
Pear production is also expected to rebound after a bad year, to 790,000 MT in CY 2011, compared with an estimated 650,000 MT in CY 2010. Frosts that damaged trees and yielded fruit too small for export accounted for the decrease, the report said. Exports of pears are expected to increase to 460,000 MT, compared with 370,000 MT in CY 2010.
Table grape production is expected to remain mostly unchanged, with an estimate of 145,000 MT for CY 2011, compared with 140,000 for CY 2010. Exports in 2011 are expected to reach 60,000 MT, up from an estimated 55,000 MT in CY 2010.
Europe was the main destination market for all three fruits, according to USDA data. From January to June 2010, the market took in 48,140 MT of apples, valued at US $40.3 million. It received 112,412 MT of pears worth $89.5 million and 20,637 MT of grapes, valued at $30.3 million.
Labor costs continued to be an issue in the fruit industry. Labor costs in conventional production increased 25 percent in CY 2010, the report said.
Organic apple and pear production have increased by 4.5 times since 2001, with the most success occurring among non-traditional varieties, such as Cripps Pink and Braeburn apples and Golden Bosc and Rocha pears, the report added.