Italy’s apple crop back to normal boosted by Piedmont production
According to data from Prognosfruit, Italian apple production is set to recover to normal levels of around 2.2 million tons, still 6% lower than the three-year average. The situation is not identical across every region. In both Trentino and Alto Adige production is below potential, while the crop in Piedmont has grown significantly, due to new apple orchards replacing kiwi. Other regions mark a return to production levels comparable to those of 2016.
Italy’s Golden Delicious production is 16% below the three-year average for 2014-2016. This reduction is more marked than in other European producing countries. The Red Delicious (-3%) and Granny Smith (-5%) varieties are close to the production levels of the 2014-2016 average, while Fuji production is down 7%. The Cripps Pink variety is fairly stable (+4 on 2017, -6% on the three-year average).
Of the major varieties, only Gala is above the average production volume of the three-year period 2014-2016 (+3%). Other varieties are still expanding, especially the new club varieties (+61% over the three-year period 2014-2016), which demonstrates the consumer interest in new proposals.
The full harvest will start as usual by mid-August. For now, calibres are within the norm, the quality of the fruit is excellent and there are no specific phytosanitary problems. From an organoleptic and qualitative viewpoint, the situation is currently considered very good.
Hail has affected limited areas, with light damage. Taking into account the weather patterns of recent months, the apple volumes for processing will certainly be lower than last season and will return to normal levels of between 11 and 12% of total production.