South Africa forecasts later pome fruit season and slightly larger crop
South Africa's Hortgro says the pome fruit season should be delayed but a few days, but the crop is forecast to be slightly larger and expectations are described as positive for 2021.
Apple exports are expected to rise by 4 percent year-on-year to 38 million cartons, while pears are due to grow by 2 percent to 17 million cartons.
Last year saw a much better winter with enough rain in the majority of the production areas, Hortgro said, adding that cooler weather during spring and the flowering period has resulted in a good crop.
"Growers in general are excited about the season ahead as color and packouts are looking promising. The season is estimated to be 5 – 10 days later; however, the later cultivars could still catch up," it said.
Overall, most apples varieties are expected to increase on the 2020 harvest. Young orchards that will come into production, as well as the favorable weather conditions, have positively impacted the export crop estimate.
The expected increase in pear exports can be attributed to Packham’s Triumph volumes (+6%) and Abate Fetel returning to a normal yield. At this stage Early Bon Chretien pears have been negatively affected by russeting and a decrease of 14% is estimated compared to the previous season.
The Langkloof region experienced a severe hail storm during the second week of January 2021. The hail was localized between the Haarlem and Misgund areas. Fruit size from the orchards that were not affected is looking better and higher packouts are anticipated.