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

WAPA: Southern Hemisphere forecast looks positive for apples but a bit less so for pears


The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) recently released its Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast for the upcoming season at Fruit Logistica in Berlin – with good news for one commodity and not-so-good news for the other.

According to WAPA’s data revealed at its General meeting and consolidated from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa, apple production is set to grow by 1.1% compared to 2023, while the pear crop is expected to decrease by 2.3%.

This report was compiled with the support effectively from the six leading Southern Hemisphere countries – CAFI (Argentina), APAL (Australia), ABPM (Brazil), Fruits from Chile (Chile), New Zealand Apples and Pears (New Zealand), and Hortgro (South Africa).

In terms of apples, the forecast suggests an increase to 4,775,530 tonnes, compared to last year (4,725,574).

South Africa is expected to maintain its lead as the largest producer with 1,396,659 t (+4.6 from 2023), followed by Brazil (1,100,000 t, in line with 2023), Chile (912,000 t, -8.4%), New Zealand (557,871 t, +14.7%), Argentina (501,000 t, -4.8%), and Australia (308,000 t, +5.8%).

Gala is by far the most popular variety, with its volume remaining in line with 2023 although 11.4% below the average of the previous 3 years. Exports are also expected to increase (+8%) to reach 1,551,696 t. South Africa (+5.1%) and Chile (+5.3%), the two largest exporters, are both expected to increase their export volumes. Exports from New Zealand should grow by 22.2%, while lower export quantities are forecasted for Argentina (-4.1%) and Brazil (-10.6%).

In terms of pears, growers predict a slight decline in the crop to 1.465.800 t. Argentina, Chile, and Australia are expected to decrease their production by 6%, 5.4%, and 2.7%, respectively. South Africa’s production levels are forecasted to increase 3.4% from 2023, as will New Zealand’s (+8.4%). Packham’s Triumph remains the most produced variety (a slight 1,3% decrease compared to 2023), followed by Williams’ bon chrétien pears. Export figures are expected to be in line with 2023 with a total of 654.323 t.

European apple stocks stood at 3.851.098 t as of 1 January, which is 4.6% lower than in 2023. Similarly, the total of 582.587 t for European pears is 4.4% below the figures from the previous year.

WAPA membership includes the following countries and areas: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Scandinavia, Slovenia, South Africa, Ukraine, the UK, and the USA.



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