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Apple Situation and Outlook
|Apple production in 2001/02 by selected producing countries in the Northern Hemisphere is forecast at 40.5 million tons, down 7 percent from the record 2000/01 output. The decrease reflects lower production in most major Northern Hemisphere producing countries, including China, the United States, and in countries of the European Union (EU), notably Germany, France, and Italy. Apple exports by selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 2001/02 are forecast at 3.3 million tons, 9 percent below record shipments established in 2000/01. U.S. apple exports are forecast to decrease sharply in 2001/02 to 530,000 tons, the lowest volume since marketing year 1992/93, when U.S. apple shipments totaled 489,440 tons. A smaller apple crop in Washington state and related higher prices will likely limit U.S. apple exports this season. Washington state is the major apple exporting state, accounting for more than 80 percent of total U.S. annual apple shipments.|
Apple Production in the Northern Hemisphere to Decrease for the First Time in Five Years
Total apple production in selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 2001/02 is forecast at 40.5 million tons, down 7 percent from the record 2000/01 output and the first decline since the 1997/98 season, when selected Northern Hemisphere countries produced a combined 38.4 million tons. The decrease reflects lower production in most major producing countries in the Northern Hemisphere, including China, the United States, and countries in the EU, notably Germany, France, and Italy.
Apple production in China, the world's largest producer, is forecast to decrease again in 2001/02 to 20.1 million tons. Continued overall decline in planted acreage and unfavorable weather conditions in the eastern part of China would likely slow down Chinese apple production for the second consecutive season. Most of China's deciduous fruit is grown by many individual growers on small parcels of land. The average amount of land each grower devotes to growing fruit is less than a hectare. More successful growers often manage a greater amount of acreage. Large commercial or government planting with acreage in the hundreds of hectares, are rare. Apple production in China accounts for more than 40 percent of the world output. The apple harvest season starts in August and continues until November, with the bulk of harvesting occuring in October. The major varieties grown in China are Fuji, New Red Star, Guoguang, and Qinguan, which is the variety most popular among China's apple juice concentrate producers.
Apple production in selected countries of the EU in 2001/02 is forecast at 7.8 million tons, 18 percent below the record 9.4 million tons set last season. The lower EU apple crop reflects decreased production in major EU producing countries, such as France, Italy, and Germany.
The 2001/02 French apple crop is forecast at 2.1 million tons, 10 percent below the previous year's output, partly due to a slight decrease in area planted. While no major frost was reported in the spring, flowering was affected by excess rainfall. Germany's apple production is forecast to decrease in 2001/02 to 1.5 million tons, a sharp drop from the record 2.6 million tons recorded in 2000/01. The big drop is largely due to the so called "alternate" phenomenon or nature of many deciduous fruit trees. The phenomenon, which prevents the trees from overexerting, happens when a year of large production is followed by a year with a rather low crop. In Germany, this phenomenon especially appears in noncommercial apple production.
Similar to the situation in France and Germany, apple production in Italy is forecast down to 2.03 million tons. The decline is due to unfavorable weather conditions, which also affected fruit quality. Italian apple acreage continues to decline, except in Trentino Alto-Adige, which accounts for about 60 percent of total Italian apple production. On the other hand, Spain's apple crop is forecast to increase 25 percent to 875,000 tons. Spain's apple production has enjoyed generally favorable weather this season and the quality of the crop is expected to be good. France, Italy, Germany, and Spain account for the bulk of the EU's apple crop. Golden delicious, Jonagold, Red delicious, and Gala are the major apple varieties produced, in that order. New varieties, such as Braeburn and Fuji, are making inroads in Europe in response to consumers' changes in preferences.
Apple production in the United States in 2001/02 is forecast at 4.4 million tons, the lowest level since 1988/89. Most of that drop is coming from Washington, the main producing state. Apple production in Washington in 2001/02 is forecast to decrease 17 percent to 2.2 million tons, mainly the result of hail damaged trees and reduced acreage of Red Delicious planting. Also, apple orchards in Washington experienced a more moderate bloom after last year's heavy crop. On the other hand, apple production in New York and Michigan, the second and third largest apple producing states, is expected to increase 6 percent and 14 percent, respectively. California's apple crop is forecast at about 315,000 tons, 7 percent above last season's output. Increased production of non-traditional varieties, such as Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, and Braeburn, would likely continue to account for a larger share of the U.S. 2001/02 total apple crop.
Northern Hemisphere apple exports are forecast to decrease in 2001/02
Apple exports from selected countries in the Northern Hemisphere in 2001/02 are forecast at 3.3 million tons, 9 percent below last season's shipments. Lower exports are forecast from the EU and the United States. On the other hand, apple shipments in 2001/02 from China and Poland are forecast to increase 5 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Combined apple exports from selected countries in the EU in 2001/02 are forecast at 2.1 million tons, down 7 percent from shipments in 2000/01. Lower supplies in France and Italy, the two top exporters in the EU, will likely hamper overall EU 2001/02 export performance.
U.S. apple exports in 2001/02 are forecast at 530,000 tons, 29 percent less than shipments last season. A smaller apple crop in Washington state, anticipated higher prices, and the gloomy economic situation anticipated this season in certain key importing countries will likely limit U.S. apple exports in 2001/02. On average, about 40 percent of U.S. annual apple exports are destined to Latin America (including Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean). Asia accounts for about 35 percent, and the Middle East and Europe for about 5 percent each. Canada alone accounts for about 15 percent of U.S. annual apple shipments.
About 20,000 tons of U.S. apples from last season's crop will be diverted from the fresh market this season as the result of an industry-sponsored incentive program. The program, which was announced on August 9, 2001, offers up to 4 cents per pound of apples removed from the fresh market. The plan was developed to reduce inventories of apples into the new season and, as such, alleviate an oversupply situation.
China's apple exports in 2001/02 are forecast at close to 282,000 tons, up 5 percent from 2000/01 shipments. China continues to expand its export markets, especially to neighboring Asian countries and Russia. The Fuji variety accounts for about 80 percent of China's apple exports. However, China's apple exports have recently encountered some problems. On October 11, 2001, the Philippine Department of Agriculture ordered a ban on most fruit and nut imports from China, including apples. The ban was imposed in response to the interception of codling moths (Cydia pomonella) in a shipment of Chinese apples the week of October 1-5, 2001.
U.S. apple exports in 2000/01 set record volume
U.S. apple exports in marketing year 2000/01 totaled a record 750,531 tons, valued at nearly $420 million, 40 percent more than volume sales in 1999/00. A larger apple crop in Washington state and related lower prices, combined with some stabilization of the economies of certain key importing markets boosted U.S. apple exports in 2000/01. Shipments increased to all major U.S. apple markets, including Mexico (up 45 percent to a record 224,133 tons), Taiwan (up 32 percent), Canada (up 14 percent), Hong Kong (up 108 percent), and Indonesia (up 51 percent). Fresh exports have become increasingly important for U.S. apple producers. In 2000/01, 16 percent of the total U.S. apple crop was exported, compared to 6 percent in 1987/88. Despite its inspection program, which precludes access for a number of U.S. producing states, Mexico has emerged as the top destination for U.S. apples. Nearly 30 percent of total U.S. apple exports in 2000/01 were destined to Mexico, compared to 3 percent in 1989/90. Continued supplies of good-quality fruit, strong demand from leading customers, and market promotion efforts should continue to boost U.S. apple sales in foreign markets. Moreover, Mexico's prominence as a market has made it increasingly critical to address all trade-related concerns to ensure the smooth flow of apple shipments.
The forecast for the Southern Hemisphere countries for the 2001/02 season (harvest in 2002) will be available in the March 2002 issue of World Horticultural Trade & U.S. Export Opportunities.
(For information on production and trade, contact Samuel Rosa at 202-720-6086. For information on marketing, contact Ted Goldamer at 202-720-8498. The FAS Attache Report search engine contains reports on deciduous fruit for more than 20 countries. Also, visit our apple webpage at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/horticulture/apple.html )