Apple production in the EU is estimated to be reduced by 5% in 2015 compared to last year. This was announced by the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA), during the Prognosfruit 2015 Congress, held in the northern Italian city of Milan, in August 2015. According to the presented data, this year’s European production is expected to rise to 11.9 million tones, while in 2014 it stood at 12.5 million tones. Small decrease is expected for the Greek production as well, which is going to fluctuate at 238.000 tones (from 245.000 of the previous year) as recorded by the WAPA’s forecasts. In Poland, the largest EU producer country, this year’s production is expected to remain at the same with the previous year level (3.7 million tones).
Remarkable increase is being expected for the apple production in France, from 1.44 million tones in 2014 to 1.59 million tones (+10%). Small reduction is being forecasted for the Italian production, which from 2.45 million tones in 2014 is expected to reach at 2.32 million tones (-5%) this year. On the other hand, very high reduction is expected for the German production, which from 1.11 million tones in 2014 is expected to reach at 885,000 tones in 2015 (-21%).
WAPA’s estimations about the main varieties in the EU are:
- Golden Delicious will decrease by 5%, to 2.546 million tones
- Gala will remain stable at 1.331 million tones
- Idared is expected to fall by 7%, to 1.111 million tones
- Red Delicious will decrease by 5%, to 644,000 tones.
Significant changes are expected in the production of other countries in the northern hemisphere. More specifically, there will be an increase in the production of Russia (+4%), China (+7.5%) and Ukraine (+16%), while the production in the USA is expected to be reduced (-4%), the same is expected for Switzerland (-4%) and Canada (-26%).
Mr. Hans van Es, the Chairman of the Fruit and Vegetable Commission of Copa-Cogeca, referred to the predictions and the problems existing in the European apple production, stated: “Last year’s (2014) European apple production was 15% higher than that of 2013. The Russian embargo has caused serious problems in the absorption of the production. However, it is positive that the European Commission continues to support the producers by helping them to mitigate the consequences of the Russian embargo. Nevertheless, if during the next season the producer’s income reduction goes on, there will be negative impact on future investment to the sector and in the production”.
Mr. Daniel Sauvaitre, the President of WAPA, said: “Predictions for next season are better than last year’s. European production is slightly reduced. This fact combined with the small stocks of the southern hemisphere and the significant progress in the promotion of exports to new markets in third (non-EU) countries, is expected to help overcoming last year’s problems of production absorption. Most countries reported an increase in consumption, which is a very positive development for both the processing and the growers. But the major concern still remains the shrinking of the producers’ income”.
Mr. Angelos Theodorou, the Deputy Director of the Agricultural Cooperative of Zagora, one of the biggest agricultural cooperative in Greece, talked to Agrotypos about this year’s Greek production and emphasized that “So far the apple production progress is characterised smoothly, without problems for the whole country. There were no serious problems due to scab. In our region the production is expected to be at around the same with the previous year level. Minor problems due to the hail presented in regions of Western Macedonia”. Mr. George Sidiropoulos, the Agronomist of the Agricultural Cooperative in Pyrgos Kozanis North Greece, said that “there were small problems during fertilization due to the high temperatures of spring. The production is expected to fluctuate on normal levels and will present small decrease compared with the last one”.