More than 150 international representatives from the Apple and Pear sector took part in the Prognos fruit 2021 Online Conference, the second virtual edition of the event in its 46 years. The conference provided a platform to discuss the 2021 production forecast.
“Apple production in the EU for the 21 top producing countries is estimated, for the 2021/22 season, to be 11.735m tonnes,” said WAPA’s Philippe Binard. “Overall, this year’s crop is estimated to be 10 per cent higher than last year, but up only 1 per cent on the three-year average. It is therefore perceived to be a season with a balanced outlook.”
Poland is the leading producer, by county and is expecting a 22 per cent increase in volumes year-on-year, up to 4.17m tonnes. Italy is set for a slight fall of 4 per cent to 2.046m tonnes.
France and Germany are both expecting an increase in the size of their Apple crops, up 3 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, to 1.375m tonnes and 1.08m tonnes.
Both Golden Delicious and Gala varieties are forecast to increase by 8 per cent this year, to 2.12m tonnes and 1.563m tonnes.
Whilst the EU Apple crop is larger, the EU Pear crop for 2021/22 is estimated to decrease by 28 per cent compared to last year, to 1.604m tonnes and by 27 per cent compared to the three-year average,” Binard confirmed. “This is the smallest decade crop for Pears.”
Italy was the largest Pear producer in 2020 and is expecting a huge drop in production of up to 65 per cent this season, down from 611,000 tonnes to just 213,000 tonnes.
The Netherlands and Belgium take the top two positions in terms of volume, although they too are forecasting drops in production of 19 per cent (to 325,000 tonnes) and 25 per cent (to 295,000 tonnes) respectively.
By variety, this translates to a decrease of Conference Pears of 18 per cent to 805,000 tonnes and Abate Pears of 73 per cent to 66,000 tonnes.
The Pears are certainly one to watch over the coming season with expected price increases due to the 28% drop in volume, similarly, we may see sharper Apple prices over the coming season.