Fresh produce marketer Vanguard International has said that it is anticipating a good South African apple and pear crop in 2021, following favourable conditions through the winter.
Vanguard said that the country's main apple and pear production areas in the Western region had an excellent winter season with "ample rain, snow, and cold units".
This was followed up by good flower and set periods between October and December 2020, the group noted.
While the Western Cape experienced less wind and overall good weather conditions, Langkloof in the Eastern Cape was hit by hail in mid-January, affecting 1,500 of the 5,500ha of production.
"In total, we are still predicting a most positive apple and pear crop for 2021," Vanguard stated.
Like most other commodities, South African apple and pear crops are 5-10 days later when compared with 2020.
The first South African apple and pear crop estimate is for an increase of 4 per cent in apples (total 38m cartons) and 2 per cent in pears (total 17m cartons), the group said.
Apples are growing in volume for the second year in a row. The reason for this growth is mostly due to new plantings coming into production –part of major replanting and renewing strategy after the drought three years ago.
For pears, this makes up the 2 per cent decrease experienced last year, Vanguard added.