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Total 2014 pipfruit volume shows some downturn from previous season

Alan Pollard, chief executive officer of Pipfruit New Zealand, said he expects total pipfruit production to come in at 308,078 tons in 2014. "This represents a reduction of 16,358 tons or 5 percent from the 2013 season," he told The Produce News. Production acreage has remained virtually unchanged between the two seasons.

Pipfruit New Zealand is comprised of growers, packers and marketers of apples and pears. The association's goals are guyAlan Pollardto develop and promote access to overseas markets; identify, undertake and fund research and development relating to the New Zealand pipfruit industry; speak on behalf of the New Zealand pipfruit industry and represent its interests; promote the development and exploitation of new plant varieties for members; and provide information and organize seminars, workshops and conferences for education and discussion of members.

In 2013, the United States was the second-largest export destination for pipfruit. "In the 2013 season, 38,065 tons of apples (of a total export volume of 319,791 tons) and 1,990 tons of pears (of a total export volume of 4,645 tons) were sent to the U.S.," Pollard stated.

Looking at 2014 production, he went on to say, "Some regions saw some localized weather events. But in the main it was a very good growing season. The fruit size and quality of the 2014 crop is exceptional."

Pollard said a total of 8,368 hectares were estimated to be in apple production this season. A total of 303,249 tons of apples are expected to be marketed in 2014, with a breakdown of tonnage by variety as follows: Braeburn/559,991; Royal Gala/99,395; Cox/4,150; Fuji/28,456; Granny Smith/8,188; Jazz/34,554; New Zealand Beauty/1,875; New Zealand Queen/12,055; New Zealand Rose/9,388; Cripps Pink/18,141; and other varieties/27,056.

"We are forecasting to export 4,827 tons of pears during the 2014 season," Pollard continued. "This represents an increase of 182 tons or 4 percent over 2013." Pear varieties produced and marketed include Taylors Gold, Packhams Triumph, Beurre Bosc and Doyenne du Comice. Chinese pears are also grown and exported.