Harvest Trends week 20 -- 2011
Harvest situation in the Southern Hemisphere, week 20, 2011
The Southern Hemisphere's apple exports are expected to rise by 4% to 1.72 million metric tons (MT) this year despite poor weather conditions in Brazil, according to market researcher iQonsulting.
Total apple exports have now passed the halfway mark of of the year's forecast export figures, with Argentina and New Zealand expecting the highest growth figures at 17% and 13% respectively.
Chile is the largest exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and estimates 2011 exports will rise 4% to 869,401MT, while volumes for second-largest exporter South Africa should rise 1% to 297,204MT.
iQonsulting forecasts New Zealand exports of 292,000MT and Argentine exports of 211,233MT, while Brazil's exports are expected to fall 40% to 55,000MT.
"The sharp decline in (Brazilian) export volumes this season is due to various factors - on one hand the alternate bearing of Fuji which has presented the most notable fall in volumes for exportation," the iQonsulting report said.
"Another factor that affected the decline was a spring that was colder than normal with long periods of rain and some frosts affecting floration, and adding to this a very humid summer with some prolonged hail events that affected quality, particularly for Royal Gala.
"Other factors that influenced the fall in apple shipments to other markets were the unfavorable exchange rate and the increase in production costs."
The Southern Hemisphere's largest apple exporter has recorded an increase in Fuji and Pink Lady volumes, but in some cases there have been declines in fruit sizes and reports of watery cores in the Fuji variety.
Chile's opening of trade for the Royal Gala variety has been slower than normal, due to lower inventory rotation in Chile's main export markets in the U.S. and Europe. Galas will likely continued to dominate Chile's export volumes, representing 57.2%.
Argentina's Alto Rio production zone has almost finished production of Pink Lady and Fuji varieties with volumes similar to those recorded in 2009, however slightly less due to declining orchard populations.
There have been some reported cases of sunburnt apples, particularly for the red and bicolored varieties.
New Zealand's production is now finalized with around 61.3% of the harvest destined for export.
The local industry has reported a decline in Royal Gala sizes which has affected export volumes and pushed producers to seek new customers abroad and domestically.
Higher temperatures in recent weeks have positively affected South Africa's Pink Lady variety, after reports of color problems earlier in the season.
Previous forecasts had estimated a 6% fall in South Africa's apple exports but this has since risen to expected growth of 1%.