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WAPA presents annual Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast

WAPA presents annual Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast
Photo: WAPA

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released the Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop production forecast for the upcoming season. According to the forecast, which consolidates the data from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa, apple production is estimated to increase by 6% in 2021 compared to the previous year, while pear production is projected to stabilise.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released its 2021 apple and pear crop estimate for the Southern Hemisphere. This report has been compiled with the support of ASOEX (Chile), CAFI (Argentina), ABPM (Brazil), Hortgro (South Africa), APAL (Australia) and New Zealand Apples and Pears, and therefore provides consolidated data from the six leading Southern Hemisphere countries. WAPA’s Secretary General Philippe Binard commented on the usefulness of gathering the insights from these major producers: “Elaborating this collective data has previously proved a valuable exercise for the global apple and pear industry and a reliable source of information when the season progressively shifts from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere.”

Regarding apples, the aggregate Southern Hemisphere 2021 crop forecast  suggests an increase of 6% (5 million tons) compared to last year (4.8 million tons), with increases in Australia, Brazil, and South Africa of 23%, 20% and 6% respectively, a decrease in New Zealand of 5%, and stable figures in Argentina and Chile. The aggregate increased by 2% compared to the average of crops between 2018 and 2020. Chile remains the largest Southern Hemisphere apple producer in 2021 with 1.5 million tons, with Brazil in second place (1.1 million tons), followed by South Africa (1 million tons), Argentina (617 million tons), New Zealand (547 million tons), and Australia (271 million tons). 

Gala remains the main variety (39%), followed by Fuji (14%) and Red Delicious (13%). Export figures are estimated to stabilise at 1.7 million tons, with stable figures for Chile (650,000 tons), a 4% increase for South Africa (476,000 tons), and a 7% decrease for New Zealand (372,000 tons).Regarding pears, the Southern Hemisphere growers predict a stabilisation of the crop at 1.3 million tons and an increase of 2% compared to the overall average of years 2018-2020. The increase in South Africa, Australia, and Argentina of 3%, 2%, and 1% respectively are expected to compensate for the 3% and the 10% decrease in Chile and New Zealand. As in previous years, Packham’s Triumph and Williams BC/Bartlett are the major varieties, with 36% and 28% respectively. Forecasted export figures for pears are reported to increase by 6% compared to the previous year and reach 709,000 tons, with a 12% increase for Argentina (374,000 tons), a 2% increase for South Africa (214,000 tons), and a 3% decrease for Chile (108,000 tons).

 

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Slight upturn in Chinese pear exports 

Slight upturn in Chinese pear exports 
Photo: Freepik

Following the country’s Spring Festival (12 February), Chinese pear exports started to recover gradually. With the global pandemic slowly coming under control, shipping prices have begun to fall. The upcoming Hari Raya (13-15 May) celebrations in Indonesia should further stimulate Chinese pear exports. However, the domestic market has slowed down due to lower production volumes (and higher prices) resulting from poor weather conditions.

As demand has risen in recent years, there has been an increase in production of almost all pear varieties in China, particularly new varieties like Hong Xiang Su, Gyokuro, New No. 7, and Autumn Moon.

 

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India’s pear imports to surge by 29% in 2021

India’s pear imports to surge by 29% in 2021
Photo: Eurofresh Distribution

India’s 2020/21 pear crop is estimated to contract to 305,000 tons, due to adverse weather conditions during the flowering stage, according to USDA data. Pear imports for 2020/21 are forecast to rise by 29% to 22,500 tons due to steady consumption growth and lower domestic production. Since the Chinese pear import ban in June 2017, South Africa has remained the top pear exporter to India, with 72% market share in 2019/20, followed by the US (13%), and Spain (5%).  South African Packham pears are at a competitive advantage as they can be stored longer than other imported varieties, thereby extending their availability.

 

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EU pear crop rebounds

EU pear crop rebounds

The EU’s 2020/21 (July/June) pear output is expected to be up 13% from last year, when production was at a record low, according to a USDA report. Production in Italy, the largest pear producing country in the EU, partly recovered this season due to favourable growing conditions. Similar good weather conditions, in combination with a slightly higher area harvested, also resulted in increased pear production in the Benelux countries. The taste, colour, and storage quality are good. However, hailstorms and heavy rains during flowering and fruit setting led to lower production volumes in the Iberian Peninsula. Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal together account for more than 80% of EU pear production (although the area harvested in Spain and Italy fell in 2020/21). EU pear consumption in 2020/21 is expected to rebound after the decline in 2019/20 (due to reduced domestic supply). EU pear import and export volumes are expected to remain unchanged in 2020/21.

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BFV – Dole China on the 10 year anniversary of Truval Conference Pears in China

BFV – Dole China on the 10 year anniversary of Truval Conference Pears in China
Photo: BFV

On January 22nd, 2011 BFV and Dole China held a joint official opening ceremony in Shanghai to receive the very first container of Truval Conference Pears – the very first western pear to be officially imported to China, after years of negotiation between the two countries. To celebrate this landmark occasion both Dole China and BFV will launch 2021 as the official 10 year anniversary year of this historic partnership, and at the same time celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Belgium and China.

Since that moment, 10 years ago the BFV-Dole partnership has gone from strength to strength, as Europe’s number one pear has gradually captured the hearts of Chinese consumers all over the country. Even with other pear varieties having become available in the years since, Truval Conference Pears is recognized by both Chinese consumers and industry experts alike as the number one western pear reference in the Chinese market.

This partnership of Dole China, one of the leading fruit importers and distributors in China, with BFV, one of Europe’s biggest grower co-operatives and biggest supplier of Conference Pears in the world, has proven to be a match made in heaven as it was able to plan, market and promote the Conference Pears gradually in all major markets and regions across the country. This strategic approach has proven key in educating consumers and professionals with the unique smooth taste of the Conference Pear variety and in managing to exponentially increase its year-on-year sales volume this past decade. In this aspect Dole and Truval’s efforts did not go unrecognized as they were awarded with the Marketing Campaign of the Year at Asia Fruit Logistica in 2017, noting both BFV and Dole’s efforts in the past decade in running a highly structured and consistent campaign in China to educate professionals and consumers about Conference pears, demonstrating how to best organize logistics, store, handle, taste and enjoy the fruit.

Mr. Terry Chan, General Manager of Dole China reflects as follows on the historic past decade; “I believe this 10-year journey is just a beginning for both of us. With the joint efforts and cooperation from strength to strength, we will cheer for the next brilliant decade soon.“

Mr. Marc Evrard, Commercial Director at BFV looks on both the past and the future: “This achievement is clearly a testament to the faith, persistence, commitment and teamwork for all involved in the BFV & Dole China partnership, without whom introducing a new product in a new market would not have been possible. At the same time we look forward to celebrating many more such milestones together in the years and decades to come.”

To celebrate the momentous occasion of both the 10 year anniversary and 50 years diplomatic relations between their two countries, BFV and Dole will host a wide range of events and marketing initiatives to both trade and consumers. In addition, a brand new Truval Conference Pear gift box was launched last month to key retailers highlighting Belgium’s and China’s unique cultural bond to wide acclaim of the sector. The near future also holds other exciting prospects for the BFV-Dole partnership as not only will they further market other varieties such as Sweet Sensation, but preparations are in the works for the launch of the exclusive Red Conference Pear varieties

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Global Fruit Point: Regular Demeter Pome Fruit Program from Argentina

Global Fruit Point: Regular Demeter Pome Fruit Program from Argentina
Press release & foto by: Stock Global Fruit Point GmbH  

Last week Global Fruit Point successfully renewed its organic audit, which also included an update of the Demeter certification.

What began in March last year with the first arrival of William’s pears at the port of Rotterdam has developed into a regular program with biodynamic pome fruit from Argentina. By now, Global Fruit Point commercializes Demeter certified pears of the varieties William’s, Red Bartlett, Packham’s, Abate Fetel, Beurré Giffard, D’Anjou, and Forelle. For apples, the product range comprises Royal Gala, Cripps Pink, Pinova, Fuji, Braeburn and Granny Smith.

Up to now, the company has concentrated on apples and pears from the Río Negro region which are sourced through Patagonian Fruits Trade. Thies Claussen, QA manager of Global Fruit Point: “Thanks to our long-standing partnership we could build on the existing trustful relationship, and so it was only a logical consequence to extend our cooperation to Demeter products”.

With the Demeter program, Global Fruit Point is following the demands of the market, as there is an increasing interest in fruit that not only meets the minimum requirements of the EU Organic Regulation, but also the much stricter standards of growers’ associations such as Demeter.

For the time being Global Fruit Point’s biodynamic offer is limited to an exclusive range of Demeter apples and pears – although an extension to other products at a later date is not excluded.

About Global Fruit Point GmbH:

Global Fruit Point GmbH, based in Buxtehude near Hamburg, specialises in the direct import of fresh fruit from overseas, both from conventional and organic cultivation. Among the most important products are grapes, apples, pears, stone fruits and citrus fruits, but also berries, melons, avocados, mangoes, pineapples, and pomegranates. The company attaches particular importance to a close partnership with the producers and the absolute traceability of all products, which is why all producers are GlobalG.A.P. certified.

Global Fruit Point supplies food retailers and wholesalers in Germany and Europe with quality products directly from the port. An own branch in Rotterdam ensures professional quality control upon arrival of the goods and before loading to the customer. Modern handling structures in Rotterdam and Hamburg guarantee smooth logistics throughout Europe as well as the highest food safety and quality standards.

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Chinese pear crop shrinks

Chinese pear crop shrinks

 

China’s 2020/21 pear crop is projected to fall almost 8% to 16 million tons, as frost hit the country’s main producing region, Hebei. Chinese consumers prefer crunchy Asian pears over western pear varieties. The low volumes of imported western pears from the EU and South Africa are mostly consumed by children and older people. The MY 2020/21 pear import forecast is 11,000 tons, according to FAS China data.

The planted area of pears is forecast at 940,000 hectares in MY 2020/21. Pear acreage has declined due to lower market returns and weak domestic demand, especially for traditional pear varieties such as Ya Pear, Snow Pear, and even Huangguan Pear, according to industry sources. However, pear acreage has expanded in some provinces for certain pear varieties, such as Su Pear, Fragrant Pear, Jade Pear, Autumn Moon Pear, Yulu Pear that are favoured by domestic consumers. 

 

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China drives larger pear crop

China drives larger pear crop

 

The world’s pear output in the 2019/20 campaign is projected to rise 12% to 23.0 million as rebounding output in China more than offsets weather-induced losses in the EU, according to data published by the USDA/FAS. The increased supply is expected to boost exports. China’s production is estimated to jump 21% to 17 million tons, indicating a full recovery from last year’s severely weather-ravaged season. Revived supplies are projected to drive exports up nearly 60% to 580,000 tons on elevated shipments in the first half of the marketing year, particularly to Thailand and Malaysia. Imports are predicted to remain stable at 11,000 tons.

EU production is estimated down 15% to 2.2 million due to fruit damage. Brown marmorated stinkbugs impacted production in top grower Italy, while many Member States suffered weather-related losses. Exports are expected to shrink slightly to 295,000 tons as reduced supplies are directed towards overseas markets and fresh consumption, while processing will plunge by over 50% to 250,000 tons.

Russia’s production is forecast to rise slightly to 245,000 tons due to higher-yielding non-commercial or house-hold orchards, which account for over 90% of domestic production. Imports are expected to continue their decline, falling 30% to 190,000 tons, as losses from Belarus and China more than offset improved shipments from Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey. This will make Russia no longer the world’s top pear importer, slipping behind Indonesia.

 

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Argentina’s apple and pear exports rise despite smaller crop

Argentina’s apple and pear exports rise despite smaller crop

 

Although Argentina’s 2019/20 fresh apple and pear productions are projected to decrease to 480,000 tons and 550,000 tons respectively, the lower fruit supply in the Northern Hemisphere is set to boost exports during this campaign, according to USDA data. Apple exports are forecast at 100,000 tons and pear exports are projected to reach 300,000 tons. 

Argentine apple and pear exports are primarily destined to overseas markets in the Northern Hemisphere (mainly Russia, the EU, and the US) in the first half of the year, while later in the year, exports are oriented toward Mercosur countries (mainly Brazil) and other Latin American markets.  The United States is a relatively stable market for Argentine apples and pears, especially for organic products. For 2018/19, exports totalled 111,000 tons (+15.9%) for apples and pear exports reached 310,000 tons (-3.2%) (Source: USDA). 

The main apple varieties in production are Red Delicious (64%), Granny Smith (14%), Gala (13%), Cripps Pink/Pink Lady (6%) and others (3%). The main pear varieties are Packham’s Triumph (41%), D’Anjou (24%), Williams (16%), Abate Fetel (6%), Bosc (5%), and others (8%). (Source: Top Info Marketing S.A.)

Photos: http://www.cafi.org.ar/

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Record exports predicted for New Zealand apples 

Record exports predicted for New Zealand apples 

New Zealand’s 2019/20 apple crop is projected to increase by 2.8% to 593,000 tons (source: FAS/Wellington),  due to an expanded harvested area and a good growing season, despite the impact of COVID-19 on harvesting and packing. The larger crop is set to boost the country’s apple exports for 2019/2020, which are forecast to hit a record 400,000 tons, up 2.3% on 2018/2019. This continues a promising trend, as apple exports in 2018/2019 rose 5.8% from 2017/2018. 

This season, the volume of apples to be processed is expected to rise 5.7% to 119,400 tons due to the larger crop, as well as expectations for a reduced proportion of the crop being export-quality.   Domestic consumption of apples is expected to be up 0.6% to 74,000 tons.

Meanwhile, pear production was up 4.5% to 13,150 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions. Pear exports are forecast to remain unchanged at 4,000 tons.