South African fruit group Hortgro says exports to UK will continue as planned

South Africa pear and apple exports looking strong this season

Produce Business report

Global marketer and seller Vanguard International reports that the apple and pear crops look to be strong as the South Africa season gets underway.

Bon Chretien Rosemarie, and Flamingo pears kicked off this year’s start three weeks ago and there is great optimism following a second consecutive great winter with water reserves being replenished. This follows years of trouble with droughts, including a devastating one in 2017 that led growers to put new varieties and strains for better yields. While expected heat waves are to come, growers believe they will not affect crops this year.

Each of the past three years, in fact, has seen big growth. Apples and pears gained nearly 10mm cartons from 2020 to 2021. The crop estimates for 2022 is additional 4mm cartons to 67mm overall.

Last year, the UK trailed only Far East Asia, Asia and Africa in terms of export markets for South Africa apples. The biggest varieties for apples were Royal Gala, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and Granny Smith. The biggest market for pears was Europe followed by Far East Asia and Asia, with Packhams Truimph the leading variety followed by Forelle.

Vanguard notes that apple volumes are likely to see 6% growth. The two varieties that will stand out are Pink Lady and Cripps Red, which are expected to rise by 9% and 20% respectively. The 9% growth on Cripps Pink will not be enough to topple Golden Delicious for second place. Last season’s Granny Smith, Gala, and Fuji are also available.

Apple arrival will begin with Panorama Golden, then Gala, as soon as this week. Braeburn and Mahana Red will follow in Week 13, Fuji in Week 14 and Pink Lady in Week 15.

As for pears, Vanguard says “the market into Europe and the UK is very good [with] sizing similar very similar to last year with pears peaking on count 70/80.” The industry is expected to see 8% growth.



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