Jun 13, 2016
World apple production up, trade down

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has published its latest biannual report studying world markets and trade in apples, grapes and pears. The report includes data on U.S. and global trade, production, consumption and stocks, as well as analysis of developments affecting world trade in apples, fresh grapes and pears.

Apples

According to the report, world apple production in marketing year 2015/16 is forecast to increase slightly over last year, to 76.9 million tons, with higher production in China largely offset by lower production in the United States and the European Union (EU). Global trade is forecast lower driven by a downturn in demand from Belarus, Mexico, and Russia.

China’s production continues to rise, up 2.1 million tons to 43 million on higher bearing acreage and favorable weather. Exports are forecast to surge 400,000 tons to 1.2 million on higher exports to Asian markets, particularly Bangladesh and Thailand, as improved production practices continue to boost competitiveness.

EU’s production is forecast down 1.4 million tons to 12.2 million on lower output primarily in Poland, Hungary, and Italy. Exports are expected to drop 220,000 tons to 1.6 million on smaller shipments to Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, Russia continues its ban on EU apples. Imports are up on stronger demand from Macedonia and Serbia and are projected at 485,000 tons.

United States’ production is forecast down over 500,000 tons to 4.6 million on adverse weather in all growing areas. Exports are forecast to plummet to their lowest level in 6 years, dropping 256,000 tons to 780,000 on smaller, lower shipments to Mexico, India, and most U.S. markets. In January 2016, Mexico implemented antidumping duties (AD) ranging from 2.44% to 20.82% on most U.S. apples, which were imposed as a result of Mexico’s preliminary determination of its AD investigation on U.S. imports. On June 7, 2016, Mexico announced a negative final determination in its AD investigation, and the provisional duties were revoked the next day, but this investigation likely slowed trade. U.S. consumption is expected to remain steady at 2.6 million tons as higher shipments from Chile boost U.S. apple imports to 175,000, partially replacing lost domestic production.

Russia’s production is forecast to remain at 1.4 million tons on stable bearing acreage and normal growing conditions. Imports are expected to continue their decline on lower shipments from Belarus and the continued ban on EU apples. Despite this continued slide, Russia remains the top apple importer at 725,000 tons.

Chile’s production is projected flat at 1.2 million tons. Growers continue to switch to more profitable crops as well as to transition to higher-yielding varieties in remaining orchards. Exports are forecast up 32,000 tons to 660,000 on smaller shipments to the United States.

Mexico’s production is forecast to decline 17,000 tons to 700,000 as adverse weather impacted yield and quality. Imports are forecast to plunge nearly 100,000 tons to 215,000 as imports from the United States have been driven down by Mexico’s antidumping duties.

Argentina’s production is forecast to contract slightly to 640,000 tons as hail storms affected fruit quantity and quality and acreage continues to decline due to ongoing labor issues and rising input costs. Exports are projected flat at 105,000 tons.

New Zealand’s expected off-year in production is forecast instead to remain steady at 548,000 tons as a compressed high- volume bloom was followed by excellent growing conditions. Exports are expected to rise to their highest level in over 10 years, to 346,000 tons, as the country continues to shift its focus from Europe towards Asia.

South Africa’s production is forecast to remain steady at 930,000 tons as the effects of dry weather are offset by higher plantings. Exports are expected to rise slightly to 473,000 tons.

Turkey’s production is forecast to rebound from last year’s frost-damaged crop, surging 451,000 tons to 2.7 million. Exports are slashed 42,000 tons to 86,000 on lower exports to Iraq.

Fresh table grapes

World table grape production is forecast to increase slightly to 21 million tons as continued growth in China is mostly offset by declines in Turkey and Chile. Global trade is forecast to contract slightly as lower exports by Chile, Turkey, and the United States only partly offset China’s record exports.

China’s production is projected to surge 800,000 tons to 9.6 million on higher area and favorable growing conditions. Exports are forecast to jump 76 percent, up 97,000 tons to a record 224,000 on higher shipments to Thailand and Vietnam. Imports are forecast down slightly to 217,000 tons on lower shipments from the United States and Peru.

Turkey’s production is forecast to drop 345,000 tons to 2 million due to a spring frost in the main growing region in western Turkey. Exports are projected to fall 82,000 tons to 175,000 on lower shipments to the EU as well as top market Russia, where a ban on certain Turkish imports went into effect January 1, 2016.

EU’s production is forecast to rise a modest 49,000 tons to 1.7 million on higher output in Spain. Exports are projected to slip 14,000 tons to 87,000 as alternative markets fail to replace lost market share in Russia, where the ban on EU grapes continues. Imports are projected to slip 18,000 tons to 585,000.

United States’ production is forecast to rise slightly to 984,000 tons despite drought concerns in top producing state California. Final trade data show exports are down 60,000 tons to 329,000 driven by lower shipments to top markets. Imports slipped 17,000 tons to 530,000 on lower available product from Chile. Steady production coupled with lower exports is expected to boost consumption to a record 1.2 million tons.

Peru’s production is expected to expand slightly to 510,000 tons as new plantings continue to reach maturity. Exports are down slightly to 295,000 tons on competition from Chile in key markets China and Hong Kong.

Chile’s production and exports are forecast down nearly 100,000 tons to 840,000 and 660,000, respectively, reflecting the continued impact from last year’s March flood and July snow.

Russia’s production forecast is lowered to 90,000 tons due to losses in both commercial and household vineyards. Imports are projected to decrease 51,000 tons to 250,000 driven by falling consumer purchasing power, declining consumption, and the inability to replace banned grapes from the EU and Turkey.

Argentina’s production is forecast to fall by half to 60,000 tons due largely to table grapes being processed into raisins. After last year’s modest rebound, exports are forecast to decline again, dropping 9,000 tons to a lackluster 11,000.

Fresh pears

World pear production is forecast up 814,000 tons to 25.2 million on higher output in China, where 75 percent of the world’s crop is grown and consumed. Global trade is forecast down as lower EU exports more than offset higher Chinese exports.

China’s production is forecast up 1 million tons to 19 million on higher yields following favorable growing conditions in major producing areas. Exports are projected to continue rebounding, up 68,000 tons to 400,000 on greater shipments to Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. Imports are nearly halved to 6,300 tons on lower demand for product from the EU and the United States.

EU’s production is projected to drop 144,000 tons to 2.5 million as unfavorable weather affects fruit set in major producing countries. As Russia’s ban remains in effect, exports are forecast down 89,000 tons to 328,000 on reduced output and lower demand in Belarus and Brazil. With lower exports resulting in higher available domestic supplies, imports are down slightly to 202,000 tons.

United States’ production is forecast down 89,000 tons to 665,000, driven primarily by fewer bearing acres in top-growing states Washington and Oregon. Reduced shipments to Mexico and other top markets are expected to lower exports 15,000 tons to 160,000. Imports are forecast a flat 90,000 tons on steady demand for pears from Argentina and Chile.

Argentina’s production is forecast to ease 10,000 tons to 580,000 as hail storms reduced fruit volumes and quality. Exports are expected to remain unchanged at 330,000 tons as losses to Brazil due to tighter phytosanitary rules offset gains to the EU.

Chile’s production is projected down 18,000 tons to 272,000 as unseasonably cold temperatures delayed the crop, affecting crop quality. Exports are expected to follow suit, dropping 24,000 tons to 120,000 on lower exportable supplies.

South Africa’s production is forecast to rise just 10,000 tons to 410,000 even though higher plantings have come into full production. Exports are expected to keep pace with production, increasing 5,000 tons to 210,000.

Russia’s production is expected to remain flat at 160,000 tons due to unfavorable weather. Imports are forecast to remain constant at 270,000 tons as shipments from Belarus offset product from Argentina. While the ban on EU imports continues, Russia remains the top global market despite shipments having dropped more than a third since the ban was initiated in August 2014, according to the report.

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