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Belgian research horticulturist Tom Deckers admires a pear planting in 2011. This year's pear crop in Belgium will be 14 percent smaller, and the Belgian apple crop will be down 30 percent.

Belgian research horticulturist Tom Deckers admires a pear planting in 2011. This year’s pear crop in Belgium will be 14 percent smaller, and the Belgian apple crop will be down 30 percent.


European apple and pear producers expect to harvest smaller-than-average pear crops this year because of poor weather last winter and spring across Europe.

The apple crop will be down 9 percent from last year, and the pear crop will be 22 percent smaller than in 2011, the World Apple and Pear Association reports.

The 2012 apple crop is forecast at 9.7 million metric tons. Golden Delicious will be down by 15 percent to 2.2 million tons, and Gala production will be down by 6 percent to 1 million tons. Red Delicious will decrease by 18 percent to 0.5 million tons, while Idared production will go up by a third because of a larger crop in Hungary and Poland.

Although most European countries will have shorter crops, Poland will see an increase to 2.8 million tons because of new plantings. Russia is also expecting an 8 percent increase and the Ukraine a 4 percent increase because of young trees coming into bearing.

The European pear crop is estimated at 2.1 million tons, down from 2.6 million a year ago. The Ukraine’s pear crop will also be down 8 percent from last year.

European producers expect to have no carryover from last season’s stocks or from Southern Hemisphere supplies, which should strengthen the market and provide better returns to growers after several difficult seasons, the association reports.

The estimates were compiled during the Prognosfruit Conference on August 3 in Toulouse, France. See the full forecast.

Industry leaders from European apple-producing regions will discuss the economic situation and market trends during Interpoma 2012, an international trade show and congress scheduled for November 15 to 17 in Bolzano, Italy. Dr. Des O’Rourke, agricultural economist with Belrose, Inc., in Pullman, Washington, will speak during the congress about global trends in apple production, marketing, and consumption.

For more information, go to the Interpoma Web site.