New Zealand’s 2020 apple and pear crop forecast has revealed a healthy increase in both domestic and export volumes.
New Zealand’s apple and pear crop for 2020 is predicted to reach 600,000 tonnes, a five percent increase from 2019. Export volume is expected to be up three percent on 2019 figures, with 22.7 million 18kg boxes destined for customers in more than 80 countries.
To put the forecasted crop of 600,000 tonnes in perspective, if the apples and pears were placed side by side, they would circle the equator six times.
New Zealand Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard says notable in this year’s forecast is the continued trend away from some of the more traditional varieties.
“We lead the world in the development of new varieties and in the past 12 months we have seen increased plantings of Pink Lady™, Dazzle™, Jazz™ and Rockit™. The Braeburn export crop is expected to be 19 percent down on last year and 30 percent (approximately one million 18kg boxes) down from 2018.”
Pollard says the positive forecast is pleasing, especially given the localised hail events experienced during the growing season.
“The spring weather in the main regions was very good and there is potential for larger fruit with great eating attributes. We have had a good blossom, a high fruit set and excellent early fruit colour development. All of this indicates a high-quality season for New Zealand apples and pears.”
Apple plantings nationally have increased annually by between two percent and four percent for the past six seasons, with the majority of new plantings in the past 12 months occurring in Hawke’s Bay (267 new hectares registered), and in Gisborne, up eight percent to 295 hectares. Total registered plantings in New Zealand have now reached 10,396 hectares.