( Courtesy WAPA )

The World Apple and Pear Association is forecasting Europe’s 2020 apple production to drop slightly from last season, but pears will see a double-digit increase.

The association (WAPA) meets annually at the Prognosfruit Conference, which changed to a virtual event on Aug. 6, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group releases its annual production forecast at Prognosfruit.

The forecast for apples includes reports from 21 countries, with Poland (3.4 million tons) Italy (2.1 million tons) and France (1.4 million tons) leading production. Overall European production is forecast at 10.71 million tons in Europe, a 1% from 2019, and a 4% drop in the three-year average, according to the WAPA report.

Poland’s apple production is expected to be up from the low production in 2019, with a 17% increase from year-to-year, but that’s still a 4% drop from the three-year average.

Europe’s top variety production forecasts are:

  • Golden delicious: 2 million tons;
  • Galas: 1.5 million tons;
  • Red delicious: 660,000 tons;
  • Idared: 598,000 tons; and
  • Shampion: 444,000 tons.

The WAPA breaks down estimates from more than 2 dozen varieties, and assorted other varieties still add up to 1.7 million tons, according to the release.
European pears

There are 19 countries whose productions are included in the European report.

According to the WAPA, the forecasted pear production of 2.2 million tons is a 12% increase from last year’s production, but just 1% over the three-year average.

Countries with the largest pear crops this season are Italy (642,000 tons), The Netherlands (373,000 tons) and Belgium (362,000 tons), according to the WAPA.

Leading pear varieties are:

  • Conference: 927,000 tons, a 4% increase from 2019;
  • Abate Fetel: 287,000, which is just over double of the previous season, but just 9% over the three-year average; and
  • Williams' bon chrétien, aka Bartlett in the U.S.: 242,000 tons

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