Brazil expects 3% fall in apple production -

Brazil expects 3% fall in apple production

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Brazil expects 3% fall in apple production

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report has forecast a 3% decline for Brazil's apple crop in 2011 due to adverse climate conditions and the effects of disease problems last year.

Brazil is also expected to import more apples as a result of the production fall and the high value of the Brazilian real, the USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report said.

"CY 2010 started with a heavy rainfall. As a result some orchards experienced disease problems, due to excess of moisture, which has affected the quality of the 2011 harvest," the report said.

"According to producers, the volume harvested this season should be similar to that of past years with the same quality as last year’s crop. There were sufficient cold nights and warm days in early March, the period of maturation of the fruit, to lead to good coloration.

"Although hail storms also affected the Fuji orchards, the amount of damage was far less to the Fuji crop than to the Gala crop."

In terms of exports, national statistics show a 43% decline in apple shipments to 21,700 metric tons (MT) during the first quarter of 2011, while the Brazilian apple royal caliber 100 (Gala) has fetched a 17% higher price in Rotterdam.

"Trade sources estimate that apple exports will decrease by 22 percent in CY 2011. One of the reasons is the reduced quality of Brazilian apples due to unfavorable weather conditions during stages of fruit development," the report said.

"In addition, last year's flooding in Rio Grande do Sul damaged the infrastructure and consequently distribution is not running as smoothly as usual.

Rio Grande do Sul is the second-largest apple regino in Brazil representing 44% of planted area, while the largest is Santa Caterina.

Brazil shipped a total of 76,879MT of fresh apples in 2010 with Argentina as the largest importer, followed by Chile, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Peru and the U.S.

In terms of apple juice, Brazil exported 38,390MT in 2010 with the U.S. as the largest importer, followed by Japan, South Africa, the Netherlands, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.

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