Aug 9, 2022
WAPA forecasts stable European apple crop, pears up 20%

The European apple crop is set to increase in volume by just 1%, but pear production is forecast to increase 20% from last year’s smallest crop of the decade.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) released its annual European report Aug. 4 during the Prognosfruit Conference, Aug. 3-5 in Belgrade, Serbia.

“The prospects for the upcoming season are positive, although the sector will have to be prepared to face a variety of challenges including significant rising costs impacting the competitiveness of the sector, intense weather conditions, logistical issues, inflation, and difficulty to secure seasonal workers, with the ultimate goal of increasing consumption thanks to the quality of the products of the season and reverse the recent negative trend,” WAPA President Dominik Wozniak said in a news release.

The European Union and United Kingdom’s apple crop is forecast at 12.17 tons. Although that’s just 1% more than last year, that’s 9% higher than the average from the past three years, said Philippe Binard, secretary general of WAPA and the Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Exporters.

“The EU pear crop for 2022 is estimated to increase by 20% compared to last year´s record low crop of the decade and by 5% compared to the 3-year average (rising to 2.08 tons), mainly due to Italy and France more than doubling their production compared to 2021 (reaching 473,690 tons and 137,000 tons respectively), although, in the case of the former, the crop remains below its full potential.”

WAPA will continue to monitor crop developments for the Northern Hemisphere crops and issue updates when available, according to the group.

More than 200 apple and pear sector experts from 23 countries attended Prognosfruit to discuss 2022 forecasts for apples and pears. For the past two years, the event was fully online due to COVID-19 concerns. WAPA and Serbia Does Apples organizes Prognosfruit, which featured the forecast and market analysis, along with the latest trends in processing, organic and the cider market.

“The Belgrade meeting was the ideal opportunity to learn more about the development in the EU neighborhood, including Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey, as well as the Central Asia and Caucasus region,” Luc Vanoirbeek, representing cooperatives Copa (European farmers), Cogeca (European agri-cooperatives) and VBT (the Association of Belgian Horticultural Auctions).

“The additional contributions from representatives of China, India, and the USA provided to the conference a global outreach with the full picture of the whole Northern Hemisphere crop forecast,” he said.

The forecast for leading European apple-producing countries, by volume, in 2022, followed by the percent change from 2021 production and the 2019-21 three-year average volume:

  • Poland – 4.5 million tons, up 5%, up 27%;
  • Italy – 2.15 million tons, up 5%, up 3%;
  • France – 1.47 million tons, up 6%, up 1%; and
  • Germany – 1.07 million tons, up 6%, up 6%.

The forecast for leading European pear-producing countries, by volume, in 2022, followed by the percent change from 2021 production and the 2019-21 three-year average volume:

  • Italy – 474,000 tons, up 135%, up 21%;
  • Netherlands – 368,000 tons, up 8%, down 1%;
  • Belgium – 366,000 tons, up 3%, up 2%; and
  • Spain – 256,000 tons, down 17%, down 17%.

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