Northern Hemisphere Pear Situation and Outlook
|Pear production in selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 1999/2000 is forecast at 12.1 million metric tons, up 3 percent from the 1998/99 output. The upturn reflects a 10 percent increase in pear production in China, the worlds largest producer. On the other hand, smaller pear crops in 1999/2000 are expected in some other major Northern Hemisphere countries, such as the United States and Italy. Northern Hemisphere countries pear exports in 1999/2000 are forecast at 956,520 tons, slightly above the previous seasons shipments. Higher exportable supplies from the Netherlands, Spain, and China will likely more than offset lower shipments from Italy and the United States. U.S. pear exports in 1999/2000 are forecast to decrease for the second consecutive season to 135,000 tons. Reduced supplies of fresh-market pears and the related increase in prices will likely hamper U.S. exports in 1999/2000. Moreover, uncertainty regarding Brazils phytosanitary regulations could further hamper U.S. pear shipments to that country in 1999/2000. Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, in that order, are traditionally the principal customers for U.S. pears.|
Northern Hemisphere pear production in 1999/200 forecast to increase for the third consecutive season
Increased pear production in the Northern Hemisphere in 1999/2000 mainly reflects a larger crop in China, the worlds leading pear producing country. As is the case with its apple industry, Chinas pear production has increased steadily during the last years, the result of extensive planting during the 1980's and early 1990's. However, the big increases in fruit production and acreage are not expected to continue, mainly because of prevailing lower prices. Ya pears (or Duck pears) account for most of Chinas pear production. Other pear varieties include Snow pear and Shandong pears.
Pear production in the United States in 1999/2000 is forecast to decrease slightly to 855,385 tons. The downturn mainly reflects reduced production of winter pear varieties, notably Anjou. Normally, Bartlett accounts for 55 percent of the total U.S. annual pear crop. Anjou pears are the second largest grown variety, accounting for 30 percent of total U.S. output. About 75 percent of the U.S. Bartlett crop is processed, although some reach the fresh market, especially early in the season. Anjou and other winter pear varieties are intended mostly for the fresh domestic and export markets. The 1999/2000 U.S. pear situation will continue to put upward pressure on prices for fresh-market pears, such as Anjou and Bosc, while leading to lower grower prices for processing pears. Washington, California, and Oregon account for more than 95 percent of total U.S. pear production.
Italian pear production, the largest in the European Union (EU), in 1999/2000 is forecast at 797,000 tons, down almost 30 percent from the huge 1998/99 output. The region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy continues to account for the bulk of total Italian pear production. Pear production in Spain, the EUs second largest producer, is forecast to increase slightly in 1999/2000. Although good weather conditions prevailed during the early blooming period, freezes and hailstorms during mid spring in some producing areas hampered development of the 1999/2000 Spanish pear crop.
Northern Hemisphere pear exports are forecast to increase as well in 1999/2000
Northern Hemisphere pear exports in 1999/200 are forecast at 956,520 tons, up 2 percent from the previous seasons shipments. Increased exports are anticipated from the Netherlands, Spain, and China. On the other hand, lower shipments are forecast from Italy, and the United States. Italys pear exports are forecast to decreased to about 160,000 tons in 1999/2000. The reduction is a reflection of a smaller crop and the related reduction in exportable supplies. Chinas pear exports in 1999/2000 are forecast to increase to 110,000 tons, the result of a larger crop.
U.S. pear shipments in 1999/2000 are forecast at 135,000 tons, down 4 percent from the 138,439 tons shipped in 1998/99. Reduced production of fresh-market pears in the states of Washington, California, and Oregon, major U.S. pear exporting states, and the related increase in prices will likely slow U.S. pear exports for the second consecutive season. Moreover, uncertainty regarding Brazils port of entry and phytosanitary regulations could further hamper U.S. pear shipments to that country in 1999/2000. In June 1999, Brazil issued a report on a proposal to limit the ports of entry on imported fresh produce from the United States. Under the proposal, in the near future all fresh fruit shipments will only be imported through the port of Santos or the international airport in Sao Paulo. Apparently, the "limited port of entry" policy emerged due to the limitation of Brazilian experts able to identify mite species, pests of Brazilian quarantine concern. Brazil inspects for certain mite species which are claimed not to exist in South America. If product is found with any of these mite species, the load would be subject to fumigation and any additional shipments would need to be fumigated before departure from the United States. Fumigation is not a desirable option because it degrades the quality of the fruit and shortens its shelf life. Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, in that order, are traditionally the main U.S. pear customers.
It is too early to make a reliable forecast for the Southern Hemisphere countries for the 1999/2000 season (harvest in 2000). Forecasts will be available in the March 2000 issue of World Horticultural Trade & U.S. Export Opportunities.
(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)