EU apple and pear production down
The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) presented the 2023 EU apple and pear crop forecast, which projects a 3% year-on-year decline in apple production and an almost 13% drop for pears.
The decrease is largely a result of weather-related reductions in Italy, France, and Greece, the report says. Additionally, for apples, a mild winter in the main producing regions led to poor pollination, thus, less fruit.
While apples saw a production decline, the figures are 0.3% higher than the last decade's average.
Over the years, the EU’s apple acreage has seen a declining trend. However, yields per acre stayed up.
Poland has the largest share of apple production in the EU, with 31% of commercial orchards. It is followed by France, Italy, and Romania, with an 11% share each.
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As for pears, production is significantly declining in Italy, which saw a 63% decrease due to frosts, floods, and hail damage.
Final pear production numbers for Italy will likely be even lower, as the forecast does not yet include the damage resulting from a late July storm.
French pear yields are also down by 29% compared to the 2022 harvest.
In contrast, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal are expecting a normal to above average pear production.
Regarding varieties, the Conference pear continues to lead with 53% of total production. For apples, the Golden Delicious variety stands at the top with an 18% share.