Pear oversupply in Europe poses SA export challenge

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Pear oversupply in Europe poses SA export challenge

South African growers are predicting a good apple season with a 2% rise in exports, but are looking for alternative pear markets because of an oversupply of conference pears in the Northern Hemisphere.

Hortgro agri-economics information manager Mariette Kotze, said due to a good winter growers were expecting full production volumes.

"It will be a full apple crop. Packham's Triumph pears are down, it's a little bit lighter but it's nothing major. Quality-wise the fruit is very good with good pack up percentages. We are very optimistic at this stage," said Kotze.

She said the industry would be evaluating the situation with pears in Europe, and would probably look more closely at domestic markets or other key destinations such as Russia, the Far East and Middle East.

Europe and Russia have traditionally accounted for 60% of pear exports, followed by the U.K at 15%, the Far East and Asia at 11% and the Middle East at 8%.

Kotze added over the last five years apple exports to other African countries have increased from 14% of all shipments to 19% and that this was a growth market.

The U.K. is currently the largest apple importer at 34%, followed by the Far East and Asia at 22%, Africa at 19%, the E.U. and Russia at 12% and the Middle East at 9%.


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