The global apple crop is expected to be at its lowest for eight years, down 9% to 68.7 million tons, according to FAS/USDA data. The slump is mainly due to China’s substantial weather-afflicted campaign, which more than offsets gains in the EU. China’s crop size is forecast to drop 25% to 31 million tons – nine-year low. The smaller output is set to lead to a fall in exports of around a third, to 880,000 tons, while imports are expected to rise 20% to 75,000, with the greatest increase constituted by shipments from New Zealand and the EU, which more than offset lower supplies from the US. Despite the ongoing trade war with China, which has resulted in a 50% retaliatory tariff, the US remains China’s top Northern Hemisphere.
The EU apple crop looks very different from last year’s, and is set to rebound from last year’s weather-damaged campaign. Volumes are up 40% to 14 million tons. The higher supplies have spurred a massive increase in exports to Egypt and India, with total shipments reaching 1.2 million tons. Meanwhile, imports to the EU are projected to drop markedly.