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World Pear Situation and Outlook
|Pear production in selected countries in 2000/01 is forecast at 13.6 million metric tons, up 4 percent from the 1999/2000 output. Larger crops are expected in some major pear producing countries, such as China, Italy, Argentina, and South Africa. On the other hand, smaller pear crops in 2000/01 are expected in some other important producing countries, including the United States, Spain, and France. Selected countries pear exports in 2000/01 are forecast at 1.6 million tons, 6 percent above the previous seasons shipments. Higher exportable supplies are anticipated in the main exporting countries of China, the Netherlands, Italy, the United States, Argentina, and Chile. The 2000/01 U.S. pear export forecast has been revised up 10 percent to a record 170,000 tons, which is 11 percent higher than shipments in 1999/2000 and 3 percent more than the 1997/98 record. The increase in U.S. shipments mainly reflects larger supplies of good quality fresh-marketed pears and the diversion of more processing pears into the fresh market. This situation has put downward pressure on prices and has spurred demand from important customers. U.S. pear exports in 2000/01 are also benefitting from improving Asian economies and continued U.S. promotion efforts.|
Pear production in selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 2000/01 is forecast at 12.2 million tons, up 3 percent from the 1999/2000 output. The increase mainly reflects a larger crop in China, the worlds leading pear producer, and in Italy, the second-largest producer. On the other hand, pear production in the United States, the third-largest producer, is now forecast to decrease 4 percent in 2000/01 to 885,000 tons.
Chinas pear production is forecast to increase to more than 8 million tons in 2000/01. Pear production in China has increased steadily during the last years, as a result of extensive planting during the 1980's and early 1990's. Most of Chinas pear crops are grown by many individual growers on small parcels of land. Large scale commercial orchards are rare. Ya pears are the most popular variety grown in China, accounting for about 30 percent of production. Other important varieties include Su, Xuehua, and Pingguo pears.
Italian pear production, the largest in the European Union (EU), is expected to have bounced back this season from the reduced 1999/2000 crop. However, Italys 2000/01 pear production forecast has been revised to 910,000 tons, down slightly from the December estimate, due to unfavorable weather conditions late in the season. Nonetheless, production is 16 percent more than the 1999/2000 crop. The region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy continues to account for the bulk of total Italian pear production. Abate and Williams are the two major pear varieties grown in Italy.
U.S. pear production in 2000/01 is now forecast at 885,000 tons, 3 percent below the December estimate and 4 percent less than production in 1999/2000. The downturn mainly reflects reduced production of Barlett pears, the main variety, accounting for more than half the U.S. annual pear crop. Production of U.S. Barletts in 2000/01 is now forecast at nearly 470,000 tons, down 4 percent from the December estimate and 12 percent below the1999/2000 crop. Normally, about three-quarters of the U.S. Bartlett crop is processed. However, economic difficulties facing some processing industries in northern California continue to divert more Barletts to the fresh domestic and export markets. This situation is keeping prices lower this season and lowering returns to growers. Reportedly, pear producers in the Pacific Northwest are having the worst season in about 17 years. Washington, California, and Oregon account for more than 95 percent of the U.S. pear crop.
Northern Hemisphere pear exports in 2000/01 have been revised up to a record 1 million tons, reflecting more shipments from the United States. Increased exports are also anticipated from the Netherlands, Italy, and China. Pear shipments from these 4 countries will likely account for about 65 percent of Northern Hemisphere pear shipments in 2000/01.
The Netherlands pear exports in 2000/01 are forecast at 181,000 tons, up more than 20 percent from shipments in 1999/2000. A larger pear crop, more favorable prices, and continued strong demand from major customers are boosting Dutch pear shipments this season. The United Kingdom is by far the most important destination for Dutch pears, followed by Russia, Sweden, France, and Norway. The Netherlands is also a transshipment venue for fruit trade in the EU. Almost all Chilean pears destined for the EU market are traded via the Netherlands.
The 2000/01 Italian pear export forecast has been lowered slightly to 150,000 tons. Hail storms in northern Italy late in the season affected the quality of the fruit and, as such, reduced export expectations. Germany is Italys major pear market, accounting for about half the volume of total shipments.
Chinas pear exports are forecast to increase to 150,000 tons in 2000/01, mainly the result of a larger crop. Pear shipments from China have increased considerably in recent years. For example, China exported about 140,000 tons of pears in 1999/2000, compared to practically nothing 10 years ago. Fruit quality in China continues to improve contributing to the expansion of its export markets, especially to neighboring Asian countries and Russia.
The 2000/01 U.S. pear export forecast has been revised up 10 percent to a new record of 170,000 tons, which is 11 percent higher than shipments in 1999/2000 and 3 percent more than the 1997/98 existing record. The volume of U.S. pear exports during the period July 2000 to January 2001 totaled nearly 120,000 tons, up 9 percent from the same period last season. The increase in U.S. shipments mainly reflects larger supplies of good quality fresh-marketed pears and the diversion of more processing pears into the fresh market. This situation had put downward pressure on prices and has spurred demand from important customers, including Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil. U.S. pear exports in 2000/01 are also benefitting from improving Asian economies and continued U.S. promotion efforts.
Exports have become vital for the success of the U.S. pear industry. The completion of trade agreements and increased promotion activities under the Market Access Program (MAP) have been key elements in the success of U.S. pear exports in recent years. Almost 20 percent of the U.S. total pear crop is now going to export, compared to 5 percent in 1987/88. Canada and Mexico together account for more than three-quarters of total U.S. pear shipments. Continued supplies of good quality fruit, strong demand from leading customers, and market promotion efforts should continue to boost U.S. pear sales in foreign markets.
Pear production in selected countries of the Southern Hemisphere in 2000/01 (crop harvested in early-2001) is forecast at 1.4 million tons, up 13 percent from last seasons reduced output. Production recoveries are expected in the principal southern producing countries of Argentina, Chile, and South Africa.
Argentinas pear production, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, in 2000/01 is forecast to bounce back to 640,000 tons, up nearly 30 percent from the 1999/2000 weather-reduced crop. More favorable climatic conditions this season have increased Argentinas pear production prospects for 2000/01. The majority of Argentinas commercial pear production is located in Rio Negro (about 75 percent). Other important pear-producing regions in Argentina include Neuquen and Mendoza, accounting each for about 12 percent of production. More than half of the Argentine pear crop is exported fresh and the remainder is consumed fresh in the domestic market, processed into juice, or canned.
Chiles 2000/01 pear crop is forecast to increase 5 percent to 249,000 tons, the result of higher yields and slightly larger harvested area. There are more than 36 pear varieties grown in Chile. The Packhams Triumph variety, grown mainly for the fresh market, accounts for about 45 percent of the Chilean pear crop. The Beurre Bosc variety makes up about 25 percent of Chiles pear production and exports.
South Africas pear production in 2000/01 is forecast at 310,000 tons, 4 percent more than the 1999/2000 crop, due to expanded acreage coming into bearing age. Similar to last years situation, more pears this season would likely be diverted to juice production due to the increased volume of lower quality fruit.
Overall pear exports from selected Southern Hemisphere countries in 2000/01 are forecast at about 580,000 tons, up 7 percent from 1999/2000 shipments. Pear exports in 2000/01 are expected to increase for all the major shippers in the Southern Hemisphere, including Argentina, Chile, and South Africa.
Argentinas pear shipments, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, in 2000/01 are forecast at 300,000 tons, up 11 percent from 1999/2000 shipments, based on the larger crop. Argentinas fresh pear marketing season is year round with the bulk exported February through April. Major export markets are Brazil, countries in the EU, mostly Italy, and the United States.
Pear exports from Chile, the second largest supplier in the Southern Hemisphere, are also forecast to increase in 2000/01 to 130,000 tons. A larger volume of good quality fruit is expected to improve Chiles pear shipments this season. The EU is Chiles largest export market, followed by the United States. During the last few years, sales to the Far East and Latin American markets have also shown growth.
Pear exports from South Africa, the third largest exporter in the Southern Hemisphere, are forecast to increase 3 percent in 2000/01 to 118,500 tons, the result of more exportable supplies at lower prices. Countries in the EU remain South Africas major export markets. South Africas pear exports to the Middle East are also strong, with a 90-percent market share in the region.
South Africa, Australia, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Brazil formally launched the World Apple and Pear Association on January 1, 2001. The purpose of the association is to address concerns among the industries, such as the imbalances between demand and supply, variety adjustment, the prevailing low price situation, and the increased role of food safety and standardization in food trade.
(The FAS Attache Report search engine contains reports on the Deciduous Fruit industries for more than 20 countries, including China, Italy, and France. For further information on production and trade, contact Samuel Rosa at 202-720-6086. For information on marketing, contact Sonia Jimenez at 202-720-0898. Also, visit the pear web page at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/horticulture/pear.html)