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Global citrus crop shrinks

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The 2019/20 global citrus crop is down for all categories, except grapefruit. Orange production is down 11% to 47.5 million, due to weather-afflicted seasons in Brazil, the EU, Morocco and Egypt, with small increases in China and the US unable to compensate for these losses. The global mandarin crop is down 1% to 31.7 million tons, with drops in all major production regions, especially Turkey (-9%) except China.  The world’s lemon crop is estimated to be down 7% to 7.9 million tons, with Argentina (-11%), the EU (-13%), Turkey (-9%) and the US (16%) all suffering challenging seasons due to weather events. Mexico’s and South Africa’s lemon and lime production are both expected to be up. Lastly, grapefruit was the one citrus category that registered a larger crop in the 2019-20 campaign, with larger harvests in China, South Africa, Turkey and the US more than offsetting the 18% fall in the EU’s crop.

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Steady rise of New Zealand’s apple 

Steady rise of New Zealand’s apple 

 

New Zealand’s apple production and exports continue to rise. The 2019/20 apple crop is expected to be up 3.7% to 598,000 tons, according to FAS/Wellington data, while exports are estimated to rise 4% to 405,000 tons. This follows a 6% increase in the 2018/2019 campaign. Around 68% of New Zealand’s apples are exported as fresh apples, mainly to the Asian markets. The growth in crop size is due to new plantings expanding by 3-4% each year, with the country’s apple production area currently standing at 10,180 hectares. Future growth may be constrained by the lack of suitable land with access to irrigation in the main apple-growing region, Hawkes Bay, as well as new environmental regulations that should increase operating costs.

 

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EU pear crop shrinks 13% 

EU pear crop shrinks 13% 

 

The EU pear crop for 2019/20 is expected to be down 13% to 2.46 million tons, according to FAS EU data. Production is estimated to be down in all production areas except for the Iberian Peninsula and the Czec

h Republic. The EU’s largest pear producer is Italy (511,000 tons), where the crop was 30% smaller than in 2018/19. Production area in Emilia Romagna (Italy’s main growing region) is shrinking by 2-3% each year. Italy was also hit by heavy rains in the early growing season. As a result, Italian fruit size is expected to be smaller than in recent years. The main variety grown in Italy is Abate Fetel.

In contrast, pear production area continued to grow in the Netherlands (10,101 hectares) and Belgium (10,354 hectares), where Conference is the main variety produced. However, low temperatures in the Netherlands during flowering mean that overall volumes will be down there by 6%. Belgium’s crop is set to be 10% smaller, mainly due to hailstorms and some sunburn.  The Spanish pear crop is expected to be up nearly almost 5% to 307,000 tons (mainly Conference) due to favourable growing conditions throughout the season. Size and taste are expected to be good.  

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Australia prepares for record grape harvest

Australia expects yet another record season for grapes

 

Australia expects a record table grape crop in 2019/20, with output up 14% to 240,000 tons, according to FAS data. The main factor is the growth in production area due to the profitability of the fruit and strong demand in recent years. Vine plantings are increasing by about 20% each year, which will lead to further growth as young plants reach maturity. Growing conditions were not ideal, with droughts across many production areas. Nevertheless, high returns offset the water costs. 

Many of the new plantings are for export to Asian markets like China, where consumers are shifting preferences to seedless varieties, as well as new varieties and flavours. The main grape production state is Victoria (71%), which accounts for most exports.  Table grape production starts in November and reaches its peak in February and March, before concluding in May.  

TAGS: Australia, grape, 2019/20

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EU apple crop contracts 19%

EU apple crop contracts 19%

 

EU apple production in 2019/20 is expected to be down 19% from the record harvest registered in 2018/19 and 3% lower than the average of the previous ten years, according to data published by FAS EU. The picture varies across the continent. drop is due to a combination of late spring frosts (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Hungary), poor pollination (Hungary, Romania), drought/heat (Austria, Poland, UK), and hail damage (Hungary, Greece). France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria all reported higher production than in 2018/19. Spain and Portugal enjoyed a wetter and cooler season than usual, while there was also more rain in the Netherlands than in 2018.

Growing area is slowly contracting in Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, due to lack of profitability, particularly given the ongoing Russian import ban. A heatwave at the end of June combined with a lack of rain lead to a reduced fruit size in early varieties, while later varieties that benefitted from later rains show a normal size distribution.  Fruit quality is reported as good.

Commercial apple production in the EU exceeds 10,000 tons, consisting of around 25 varieties, the main ones being Golden Delicious, Gala, and Jonagold types (Jonagold, Jonagored, Red Jonaprince).  Golden Delicious is the main variety grown in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, while Jonagold is dominant in Germany and Belgium. Idared is the number-one variety in Poland and Hungary. New varieties are gaining ground, such as Pink Lady, Kanzi, Rubens, Tentation, and Kiku. The countries with the highest proportion of new varieties are Slovakia (13%), the Netherlands (12%), and the UK (10%).

TAGS: EU, apple, 2019/20

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EU grape crop production continues to fall

EU grape crop production continues to fall

 

FAS EU reports that the EU is set for a 14% fall in its grape crop in 2019/20 (June/May), mainly due to a fall in the main producing country, Italy, where output fell 25% due to heavy rains during flowering. Production is also down in Romania (-12%) and Greece (-1.4%), while the crops are larger this year in France (+10.3%), Bulgaria (+9.2%), and Portugal (+1.2%). Volumes in Spain are expected to remain flat. 

Overall, fruit quality should be good with higher sugar content due to the high temperatures recorded in July, August, and September.  Italy, Spain, and Greece together account for around 92% of the total EU volume Italy is the leading table grape producer in the EU, followed by Spain and Greece.  Total EU grape production area is expected to continue to contract due to lower profitability and stagnating domestic consumption. 

The main seeded grape varieties in Italy, accounting for 70% of production area, are Italia, Victoria, Palieri, and Red Globe. Greece has around 17,000 hectares of table grapes, with Sultana (Thompson Seedless) and Victoria the leading varieties, but Crimson Seedless and Superior Seedless also gaining popularity. Spain is the leading EU producer of seedless table grapes, which are increasingly destined for export markets.  Spain has about 14,000 hectares of table grapes, with new varieties replacing older ones. Of the many varieties grown in Spain, the main ones are Apirena (Crimson seedless, Superior seedless, and Flame seedless), Aledo, l, Muscatel, and Red Globe.