World Apple Report: Record Production & Consumption Driven By China & EU
Global production and consumption rose by about 5 percent from the previous year to a record level 65.1 million tons and 52.5 million tons, respectively. China and the European Union continue to drive the expansion. Trade also grew, with exports estimated at a record 5.4 million tons, mostly from the EU.
China’s production rose by 5 percent on expansion in the western provinces, where more land is available and labor is cheaper. Over 80 percent is consumed domestically and 15 percent is used for processing. Although China is the world’s second largest exporter, it only exports 3 percent of its production. Exports are up slightly.
Production in the EU is up nearly 10 percent to an estimated 11.8 million tons based on favorable weather in the major producing countries. Abundant supplies, along with weak domestic consumption resulted in nearly 40 percent surge in exports to a record 1.5 million tons. Russia and Ukraine accounted for much of the gain.
Production in the United States is estimated to be up slightly to 4.2 million tons in spite of reduced production in Washington, where more than half of the apples are grown. U.S. exports are 4 percent higher to an estimated 833,000 tons partially fueled by stronger demand from India and Colombia.
Chile’s production is down slightly to 1.4 million tons based on higher than normal temperatures. Producers are diversifying their orchards by increasing planting densities and replacing traditional varieties (mostly Red Delicious) by newer and higher yielding ones. Tighter supplies, coupled with escalating costs and a strong peso, resulted in a more than 5 percent drop in exports to an estimated 750,000 tons. The United States and the European Union are the major markets.