Total World apple production in marketing year 2016/17 is forecast to rise 1.2 million metric tons (tons) to 77.6 million as Chile rebounds and China continues its upward trend. Global trade is forecast up slightly to 6.6 million tons as higher exports for Chile, China, and the United States more than offset the continuing effect of Russia’s ongoing ban on fruit from certain countries.
Chinese production is forecast to rise again, up 900,000 tons to 43.5 million tons, as additional bearing trees are expected to more than offset weather-related losses in top growing provinces Shaanxi and Shandong. Exports are also projected up 150,000 tons to 1.3 million as lower prices trigger higher shipments to price-sensitive markets in Asia, especially Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Thailand. Imports are forecast up 7,800 tons to 85,000 on sustained demand for higher-quality fruit from the United States and Southern Hemisphere suppliers.
Production in the EU is expected to decline slightly to 12.6 million tons as significant weather-related losses in Central and East European Member States offsets record production in Poland. EU exports are forecast to remain unchanged at 1.6 million tons on sustained shipments to Belarus, the Middle East, and North Africa, as Russia continues its ban through 2017. Imports are anticipated to continue their slow recovery from 2014/15, rising 11,000 tons to 460,000 tons on higher shipments from Southern Hemisphere countries.
The production in the United States is forecast up 147,000 tons to 4.6 million as greater production in the Western and Central states more than offsets losses suffered in the Eastern states from damaging April frost and summer drought. Higher available supplies are expected to boost exports 77,000 tons to 855,000 and lower imports to 170,000 tons.
Production in Turkey is projected unchanged at 2.7 million tons on good growing conditions. Exports are forecast up 16,000 tons to 125,000 on higher exports to Iraq.
Production is expected to rise a modest 2 percent to 1.3 million tons on favorable growing conditions in Russia this year. This includes a 4-percent increase in commercial production to 572,000 tons, which accounts for near 40 percent of total production. Imports are anticipated to decline further as Russia continues its ban on products from certain countries, sliding 21,000 tons to 720,000, their lowest level in 11 years. However, Russia remains the world’s top apple importer.
South African production is anticipated to reach a new record of 980,000 tons as growing conditions return to normal and as new plantings come into full production. The increase in available supplies is expected to propel exports up 21,000 tons to a record 550,000.
Production in Mexico is forecast to decline slightly to 730,000 tons due to unfavorable growing conditions and hail in main producing state Chihuahua. Imports are forecast down 28,000 tons to 190,000 as the depreciation of the peso against the dollar slows purchases from the United States.
New Zealand production is forecast to show a modest gain, rising to a record 567,000 tons as orchards enter the on-year of the biennial bearing cycle and weather conditions are conducive to successful blossom and pollination. Exports are also expected to continue their upward trend, reaching a record 365,000 tons on expanded trade to Asian markets. New Zealand has focused on Asia, and varieties purpose-grown for Asia have started to come into production.
Chile is expected to see a rebound in production from last year’s weather-related shortfall, rising 130,000 tons to 1.4 million on a higher level of chill hours in winter and on uniform blooming. Higher production is expected to propel exports up 90,000 tons to 750,000 with higher shipments to top markets EU and the United States.
While Chile sees a rebound, Argentina’s production is projected to remain nearly flat at 650,000 tons as acreage continues to decline and because some orchards were hit by a September frost. Exports are expected to be unchanged at 100,000 tons on stable shipments to top markets Brazil, Russia, and the EU.