Importers worldwide can expect fewer Southern Hemisphere apples but more pears this year.

Apple exports from the Southern Hemisphere — Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Brazil, Australia and South Africa — should be down 4% from last year, but pear exports up 14%, according to the annual forecast from the Brussels-based World Apple and Pear Association.

About 1.66 million metric tons of apples should be exported from Southern Hemisphere countries in 2012. About 722 metric tons of pears should be exported.

Production should be slightly down in the Southern Hemisphere — 2% lower for apples, 1% lower for pears.

By country, Chile’s apple production should be up about 2%, New Zealand’s down 2% and Argentina’s down 9%.

Argentina’s pear production is expected to be down about 2%, Chile’s down 2% and New Zealand’s down 9%.

Galas should top 2012 Southern Hemisphere apple production, followed by, in order, red delicious, granny smith, fujis, braeburns and golden delicious.

Williams are expected to be the top pear, followed by packhams, forelles and beurre boscs.