Argentina’s fresh apple and pear crops are estimated at 590,000 tons and 600,000 tons, respectively, as the decline in planted area continues. Fruit quality and calibre were negatively affected by poor growing conditions (excess rain, hail and high humidity). According to USDA data, exports are expected to be down to 90,000 tons for apples and 290,000 tons for pears, as a result primarily of the large Northern Hemisphere crops and the lower competitiveness of Argentine exports. These drops in production follow on from a 2017/18 season in which output rose from 520,000 to 560,000 tons for apples and from 550,000 to 580,000 tons for pears.
Apple and pear production is concentrated in Patagonia’s Upper Valley of the provinces of Rio Negro (85%) and Neuquen (12%), with the other 3% located in the Valle de Uco in Mendoza. The main apple varieties are Red Delicious (64%), Granny Smith (14%), Gala (13%), and Cripps Pink/Pink Lady (6%), while the main pear varieties grown are Packham’s Triumph (41%), D’Anjou (24%), Williams (16%), Abate Fetel (6% percent), and Bosc (5% percent) (Source: Top Info Marketing S.A.). Around 11% of the 42,000 hectares of apples and pears are certified as organic.