Mixed picture for Southern Hemisphere pome fruit production

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Mixed picture for Southern Hemisphere pome fruit production

Southern Hemisphere production of apples and pears are both forecast to rise by 2% year-on-year in 2019, but individual countries are expecting some significant increases and decreases.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) said total apple production in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa is forecast to reach 5.3 million metric tons (MT), while pear volumes are set to reach 1.3 million MT.

Exports of both commodities are expected to remain stable at 1.7 million MT and 713,000MT, respectively.

Apple volumes in Chile, the region's biggest apple producer, are forecast at 1.7 million MT, which is 5% lower year-on-year and 1% lower than the three-year average. The South American country is the only origin expecting a decline in apple production from last year.

Brazil, the second-largest producer, is expecting production of 1.2 million MT, a 5% rise over 2018 and a 6% rise on the three-year average.

Meanwhile, South Africa is forecast to produce 928,000MT (5% up over 2018 and 2% up on the three-year average), Argentina is expecting 608,000MT (9% up on 2018 but 3% lower than the average).

New Zealand and Australia - the Southern Hemisphere's smallest apple producers by volume - are forecasting 591,000MT and 318,000MT, respectively. For New Zealand, this marks a 3% year-on-year rise and a 9% increase over the average, while for Australia it represents a 9% year-on-year rise and a 6% rise over the average.

Looking at varieties, Gala - which represents nearly half of the Hemisphere's production - is set to decline by 7% to 1.9 million MT, while Fuji, the second-biggest cultivar, is due to see volumes increase sharply by 22% to 826,000MT.

There are also rises for Cripps Pink (+1%; 411,000MT), Golden Delicious (+5%; 224,000MT), Red Delicious (+3%; 683,000MT), and Granny Smith (+3%; 491,000MT), but declines for Braeburn (-7%; 113,000MT).

For pears, Argentina - the Hemisphere's biggest producer by far - is forecasting 600,000MT, a 4% year-on-year rise but a 9% drop over the three-year average. Chile is also forecasting a 4% rise to 193,000MT, which marks a 13% rise on the average.

Australia and New Zealand are expecting declines of 7% and 2% respectively, to 93,000MT and 13,000MT.

All pear varieties are expected to remain relatively stable, with increases of up to 2% for some.

WAPA's meeting

The forecasts were established at WAPA's Annual General Meeting on the last day of the Fruit Logistica fair in Berlin, Feb. 8. 

Other topics on the agenda were marketing, promotion and consumption trends, research and innovation activities among the members, and global initiatives to preserve the biodiversity of the many apple varieties.

WAPA also elected a new president, Nicholas Dicey from HortGro, South Africa, formerly WAPA’s vice-president. As new vice-president, Dominik Wozniak from the Polish Society for Promotion of Dwarf Fruit Orchards was elected.

"The WAPA secretariat and members are looking forward to continuing the good trends in the coming years with its new presidency and thanked Todd Fryhover from Washington Apple Commission for his time and efforts as WAPA’s vice- president and president over the last four years," it said.

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