EU 27 apples, pears and grapes: Down and out - The Packer

EU 27 apples, pears and grapes: Down and out

11/08/2010 02:23:36 PM
Tom Karst

More good news for U.S. apple (and pear) exporters. This USDA FAS annual report on the EU-27 outlook suggests production and marketing of apples, pears and grapes is down in 2010-11. This is especially good news for Southern Hemisphere exporters, but U.S. fruit marketers may find substantial benefit as well.

From the report:

Report Highlights: The EU-27 is one of the world’s leading producers and consumers of apples, pears, table grapes, and concentrated apples juice (CAJ). Due to unfavorable weather conditions in major EU producing countries production of apples, pears, and table grapes is estimated to decline significantly in MY 2010/11. The lower availability of fresh fruit is expected to raise prices for apples, pears and, to a lesser extent, for table grapes. The smaller supply of apples will also lead to decreased production of CAJ during the same period. The majority of fresh fruit trade occurs within the EU-27.

However, significant imports from non-EU countries, mainly the southern hemisphere, take place during the off season. As a result of reduced domestic supply, imports in MY 2010/11 are expected to increase for apples, pears, and table grapes. Commercial apple production in MY 2010/11 is estimated at 9.8 MMT which is a decrease of 11 percent compared to the previous marketing year; commercial pear production at 2.2 MMT, which is down by 14 percent. In MY 2010/11, table grape production is estimated to decline by 5.6 percent compared to the previous MY and will reach 1.9 MMT.

Apples In all EU member states (MS), apples are the most popular fruit. Commercial apple production in MY 2010/11 is estimated at 9.8 MMT, which is a decrease of 11 percent compared to the previous marketing year. The decrease is largely the result of cool and moist weather conditions during blossoming.

Fruit quality is expected to be good for the most part but fruit diameter is smaller than usual. Non-commercial apple production in MY 2010/11 is forecast to be 11 percent higher because of the rebound in production in Germany. Lower stocks, decreased domestic production, and very low levels of CAJ stocks improved apple market conditions significantly compared to MY 2009/10. For MY 2010/11 EU-27 imports are estimated to rebound due to attractive prices within the EU. Almost 90 percent of EU-27 apple imports come from southern hemisphere suppliers.

 Pears The EU-27 is the world’s second largest producer of pears after China. Overall commercial pear production in MY 2010/11 is estimated at 2.2 MMT, which is down by 14 percent compared to the previous marketing year. This is largely due to lower yields resulting from unfavorable weather conditions.

Only production in Spain is expected to be up, by 11 percent. Non-commercial production in MY 2010/11 is expected to be 20 percent lower than in MY 2009/10 and will account for 120,000 MT. Lower availability (reduced production and smaller stocks) of pears in MY 2010/11 is expected to influence prices positively and increase imports. Almost three quarters of EU-27 pear imports come from Argentina and South Africa.

Table Grapes The EU-27 is a leader in table grape production. Italy, Spain, and Greece account for 90 percent of EU production. After a dramatic drop over the past decade, EU table grape area continues to decline, albeit at a slower pace. The main factors behind the decline are reduced profitability due to increasing production costs and strong competition from other suppliers. In MY 2010/11, table grape production is estimated to decline by 5.6 percent compared to last year and will reach 1.9 MMT.

This is mainly due to unfavorable weather conditions and reduced yields in Greece and some areas of Spain. The EU-27 is a net importer of fresh table grapes. As a consequence of reduced domestic supply, imports into the EU in MY 2010/11 are likely to increase. South Africa and Chile are the major external suppliers for the EU market.



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