This year, the apple production in the EU is set at 12.6 million tonnes due to favourable weather conditions. This represents a recovery of 36% compared to last year’s low crop but is only a 3% increase compared to the average crop of 2014 to 2016. The pear crop is predicted at 2.3 million tonnes, increasing by 4% compared to 2017.
WAPA reveals 2018 European apple harvest will be largest in a decade, with Polish production doubling to 4.48m tonnes. The crop estimate represented a 36% climb on last year’s total EU crop of 9.25m tonnes, and a rise of 13% on the three-year average, WAPA noted. Much of this growth will be driven by Poland, the bloc’s largest apple producer, which is expecting a huge 4.48m-tonne crop this season, up 56% on the 2.87m tonnes harvested last year and 23% on the three-year average.
Likewise, Italy is anticipating growth in volumes of 29% for 2018/19, up from 1.7m tonnes in 2017/18 to 2.2m tonnes.
France, Europe’s third-largest grower, is forecasting a more modest rise of 5% to 1.5m tonnes, while Germany’s apple crop is set to soar 66% year-on-year to just under 1m tonnes.
Many other countries are forecasting large yearly increases in 2018/19, including Hungary (up 37% to 728,000 tonnes), Romania (+39%, 320,000 tonnes), Belgium (+147%, 217,000 tonnes) and Austria (+175%, 184,000 tonnes).
Only Spain, Portugal and Latvia of the leading 21 EU producers are expecting lower apple crops this season, WAPA revealed.