Southern Hemisphere apple volumes are forecast to rise by 5 per cent compared with last year to around 5.54m tonnes, according to statistics compiled by WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association, and delivered at last week's Fruit Logistica exhibition in Berlin.
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are expected to see significant increases, of 13 per cent, 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively, while Brazil, Argentina and Chile are also expected to see growth, of 6 per cent, 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.
Chile will remain the biggest apple producer in the hemisphere at 1.68m tonnes, followed by Brazil (1.23m tonnes), Argentina (907,000 tonnes - although hailstorms at the start of February could necessitate a downward revision) and South Africa (874,000).
On the other hand, exports are anticipated to decrease by 5 per cent to around 1.72m tonnes, in part due to oversupply in key markets like Europe, a result of the bumper European crop and the closure of the Russian market.
In varietal terms, Gala is expected to continue its rise, with production growing by a further 6 per cent to 1.85m tonnes, while Red Delicious continues its descent, with volumes forecast to fall by 2 per cent.
Southern Hemisphere pear production is equally anticipated to increase by 5 per cent year-on-year, to approximately 1.58m tonnes, be that a 4 per cent rise over the 2012-2014 average.
South Africa is the only producer expecting a decrease, of 3 per cent, while New Zealand (30 per cent), Chile (15 per cent), Argentina (10 per cent, depending on the impact of hail) and Australia (4 per cent) all forecast increases.
Pear exports are also anticipated to be up, by 4 per cent compared with 2014, to over 750,000 tonnes.
As for varieties, Packham's Triumph and Williams BC/Bartlett continue to dominate, together accounting for 70 per cent of Southern Hemisphere production this year.