World apple production in marketing year 2015/16 is forecast to increase slightly over last year, to 76.9 million tons, with higher production in China largely offset by lower production in the U.S. and the European Union (EU).
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Global trade is forecast lower driven by a downturn in demand from Belarus, Mexico, and Russia.
China’s production continues to rise, up 2.1 million tons to 43.0 million on higher bearing acreage and favorable weather.
Exports are forecast to surge 400,000 tons to 1.2 million on higher exports to Asian markets, particularly Bangladesh and Thailand, as improved production practices continue to boost competitiveness.
EU’s production is forecast down 1.4 million tons to 12.2 million on lower output primarily in Poland, Hungary, and Italy. Exports are expected to drop 220,000 tons to 1.6 million on smaller shipments to Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
In addition, Russia continues its ban on EU apples. Imports are up on stronger demand from Macedonia and Serbia and are projected at 485,000 tons.
United States’ production is forecast down over 500,000 tons to 4.6 million on adverse weather in all growing areas. Exports are forecast to plummet to their lowest level in 6 years, dropping 256,000 tons to 780,000 on smaller lower shipments to Mexico, India, and most U.S. markets.
In January 2016, Mexico implemented antidumping duties (AD) ranging from 2.44% to 20.82% on most U.S. apples, which were imposed as a result of Mexico’s preliminary determination of its AD investigation on U.S. imports.
On June 7, 2016, Mexico announced a negative final determination in its AD investigation, and the provisional duties were revoked the next day, but this investigation likely slowed trade.
U.S. consumption is expected to remain steady at 2.6 million tons as higher shipments from Chile boost U.S. apple imports to 175,000, partially replacing lost domestic production.
Russia’s production is forecast to remain at 1.4 million tons on stable bearing acreage and normal growing conditions. Imports are expected to continue their decline on lower shipments from Belarus and the continued ban on EU apples. Despite this continued slide, Russia remains the top apple importer at 725,000 tons.
Chile’s production is projected flat at 1.2 million tons. Growers continue to switch to more profitable crops as well as to transition to higher-yielding varieties in remaining orchards.
Exports are forecast up 32,000 tons to 660,000 on smaller shipments to the United States.
Mexico’s production is forecast to decline 17,000 tons to 700,000 as adverse weather impacted yield and quality. Imports are forecast to plunge nearly 100,000 tons to 215,000 as imports from the United States have been driven down by Mexico’s antidumping duties.
Argentina’s production is forecast to contract slightly to 640,000 tons as hail storms affected fruit quantity and quality and acreage continues to decline due to ongoing labor issues and rising input costs. Exports are projected flat at 105,000 tons.
New Zealand’s expected off-year in production is forecast instead to remain steady at 548,000 tons as a compressed high- volume bloom was followed by excellent growing conditions.
Exports are expected to rise to their highest level in over 10 years, to 346,000 tons, as the country continues to shift its focus from Europe towards Asia.
South Africa’s production is forecast to remain steady at 930,000 tons as the effects of dry weather are offset by higher plantings. Exports are expected to rise slightly to 473,000 tons.
Turkey’s production is forecast to rebound from last year’s frost-damaged crop, surging 451,000 tons to 2.7 million. Exports are slashed 42,000 tons to 86,000 on lower exports to Iraq. ■