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Gill McShane


Rocha pears on the rebound

The Portuguese industry predicts production this season to reach similar levels to the 2006/07 crop

Rocha pears on the rebound

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The Portuguese Rocha Pear Producers’ Association (ANP) has told it expects the crop this season to rebound to 2006/07 levels, marking a return to form following the weather-related impact last year.

Provided there are no complications, the Rocha pear industry is predicting a crop of more or less 170,000 tonnes in 2008/09, which, if achieved, would represent a 20 per cent increase on last season.

“The forecast increase in production is a reflection of the normal flowering period we have experienced due to typical weather conditions this year which has included a good distribution of rainfall during the production process,” said a spokesperson for ANP.

After the EU, Portugal mainly supplies Rocha pears to areas with strong Portuguese populations such as Brazil and Canada, but the industry claims Russia and Angola are also developing into solid markets, while eastern Europe holds great promise for the future.

During 2007/08, ANP estimates that 7 per cent of Portugal’s Rocha pear exports were shipped directly to Russia, although overall arrivals in Russia last season were higher on account of volumes re-directed via the Netherlands, which received 4 per cent of the total export crop.

Harvesting of Portuguese Rocha pears is expected to get underway at the end of July and early August.

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