Europe's leading pear producers expect to see sharp decreases in output this coming season, according to figures published during the annual Prognosfruit meeting, held in Kiev, Ukraine, at the end of last week.
The combined EU-27 forecast predicted a 19 per cent fall in pear production across the continent to 2.16m tonnes, the lowest for two decades and 12 per cent below the average figure for 2007-2009.
In Italy, Europe's largest supplier of fresh pears, total volumes are forecast to fall ny 34 per cent year-on-year to 655,000 tonnes, largely as a result of a 35 per cent downturn in production of the country's key export variety Abate Fetel to 199,000 tonnes.
In the Benelux countries meanwhile, the Netherlands and Belgium are both expecting a decline in pear production, by 11 per cent and 26 per cent to 267,000 tonnes and 228,000 tonnes respectively.
Of the main varieties produced across Europe, not a single one is forecast to increase in volume this season, with the most prevalent variety, Conference, likely to be around 15 per cent down at 766,000 tonnes.
Volumes of Williams' Bon Chretien are predicted to be 10 per cent lower at 280,000 tonnes, with Doyenne du Comice production 22 per cent lower at 91,000 tonnes.
Portuguese pear production is due to fall 56 per cent compared with last season to 40,000 tonnes, with main variety Rocha down 40 per cent to 146,000 tonnes.
<a href="/resources/European%20apple%20and%20pear%20crop%20forecast%202010%20-%20summary_6_Aug_2010_14_30_40_859.pdf" title="Prognosfruit 2010 Apple & Pear Forecast Summary">Click here to download a summary of the 2010 EU apple and pear forecasts, including country and variety breakdowns
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