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Pear Situation in Selected Northern Hemisphere Countries
Pear production in selected countries of the Northern Hemisphere in 2002/03 is expected to continue its upward trend. Forecast at a record 13 million tons, production of pears in 2002/03 in selected Northern Hemisphere countries is up slightly from last season and represents the 8th consecutive season of increasing production. The growth in the Northern Hemisphere mirrors the continued expansion of pear acreage in China, the top producer. China’s pear crop this season is forecast at nearly 9 million tons, about 70 percent of the 2002/03 Northern Hemisphere pear crop forecast. On the other hand, the 2002/03 U.S. pear crop is forecast to fall to 860,000 tons, the lowest level in the last six seasons.
U.S. Pear Production Forecast to
Decrease in 2002/03
U.S. total pear production in 2002/03 is forecast at 860,000 tons, down 6 percent from last season’s large crop and the smallest volume since 1996/97, when production totaled nearly 745,000 tons. The smaller 2002/03 U.S. pear crop forecast is mainly the result of unfavorable weather in California and Washington, where 75 percent of the U.S. pear crop is produced. In California, hail damage is expected to hold the pear crop down for the third-consecutive season. Freezing temperatures during the spring will more than likely hamper pear production in Washington in 2002/03.
U.S. production of Bartlett pears in 2002/03 is forecast to decrease 5 percent in California and 10 percent in Washington. Bartlett pears, which are used mostly for canning, account for more than half of the pears produced in the United States. The economic difficulties of some U.S. processing industries are expected to encourage more diversion of Bartlett pears to the fresh domestic and export markets.
Pear Exports from the United States Reached Record Volume and Value in 2001/02 Marketing Season
Exports have become vital for the success of the pear industry, generating a significant and growing share of the income of U.S. pear farmers. During the 2001/02 marketing season (July-June), the United States exported more than 170,000 tons of pears, valued just about $100 million, both records. Mexico, with nearly half of the export volume and value, remained the top destination for U.S. pears in 2001/02. U.S. exports to Mexico, however, declined 4 percent in volume to 81,450 tons and 2 percent in value to $44 million. Shipments to Canada, the second largest buyer of U.S. pears, totaled 50,000 tons, about a third of the export volume, and $34 million or 35 percent of the value exported. Mexico and Canada combined accounted for three quarters of the volume and 80 percent of the value. The Netherlands (5 percent), Venezuela (4 percent), and Sweden (2 percent) completed the top five largest markets.
Exports of U.S. pears continue to expand in some non-traditional markets, such as those in the Caribbean region. Last season, the volume U.S. pear shipments to the Caribbean increased 60 percent to more than 700 tons, valued at $500 million. The Dominican Republic, accounting for most of the shipments, has become the top buyer of U.S. pears in the region. During the last five seasons, the volume of U.S. pear sales to the Dominican Republic has increased more than 500 percent and the value 40 percent.
Overall last season, ample supplies of good quality fresh-marketed pears, the continued diversion of more processing pears into the fresh market, and continued promotion efforts kept U.S. pear exports strong.
Mexico’s Pear Imports to
Continue to Increase in 2002/03
continues to rely on imports to meet increased fresh pear domestic demand,
because domestic production is minimal and not expanding.
In 2002/03, Mexico’s pear imports are forecast to increase again,
surpassing the 100,000-ton level. The
United States accounts for about 95 percent of Mexican imports.
Mexico’s market for U.S. pears has grown steadily and now accounts for
half of U.S. pear shipments and 10 percent of the U.S. production.
under MAP have been a key element in the success of U.S. pears in Mexico.
Pear consumption in Mexico in 2002/03 is forecast to increase to nearly 135,000 tons. Mexicans prefer the Anjou variety followed by the Bartlett, which is rapidly gaining acceptance. However, other varieties of pears are not yet as popular. Great efforts continue to be made to promote the Bosc variety, which was, until recently, unknown to Mexican consumers.
Becoming an Increasingly Important Outlet for Chinese Pears
Pear shipments from China continue to increase and are becoming more and more important to Chinese pear growers. China pear shipments have increased steadily and dramatically in recent years, mostly driven by improved fruit quality. Last season, for example, China exported a record of nearly 195,000 tons of pears, more than twice the volume shipped in 1995/96. Fruit quality in China continues to improve, and, as such, pear exports are forecast to increase to 200,000 tons in 2002/03. Russia and countries in Southeast Asia are the main export destinations for most of China’s pear exports.
The United States Resumes
Imports of Chinese Ya Pear
In October 2002, the United
States approved the resumption of imports of Chinese Ya pears.
The development followed a site visit by a technical team from APHIS to
Ya pear production orchards in Hebei Province and Shandong Provinces.
During the visit, the APHIS team assessed post-harvest mitigation
measures associated with black spot (Alternaria
sp. and Venturia nashicola) in the
two Ya pear production areas. After
satisfactorily assessing the post-harvest mitigation measure for both diseases,
the resumption of the Hebei Ya pear export program and the initiation of a new
Ya pear export program for the Shandong Province were approved.
China’s exports of Ya pears to the United States started in 1997 and were one of the commodities for which China was seeking access to the United States under the U.S.-China bilateral agreement. Chinese Ya pear shipments to the United States were valued at about $3 million in 2001 and represented China’s only significant exports of fresh fruit to the United States. The United States banned entry of Ya Pears from China in March 2001 after numerous shipments were found with symptoms of black spot and other diseases.
(For information on production and trade, contact Samuel Rosa at 202-720-6086. For information on marketing, contact Steve Shnitzler at 202-720-8495. The FAS Attaché Report search engine contains reports on deciduous fruit for more than 20 countries. Also, visit our pear web page at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/horticulture/pears/html)