The benchmark yield for Australian apple and pear growers has increased by 28 per cent to reach a record high of 47.9 tonnes per hectare in 2015 compared to 2014.
The results of the Orchard Business Analysis, compiled by AgFirst each year, show Class-1 packouts in 2015 reached an all-time high in terms of yield at 31.6 tonnes per hectare.
The Class-1 packout only accounted for 66 per cent of production, though, which was below the 2014 season but within the 65-70 per cent average range of the industry since 2008.
Forecast selling prices for Class-1 fruit during the 2015 season were estimated at $2.01 per kg in November, down from the wholesale price of Class-1 fruit in 2014, which averaged $2.29 per kg across all varieties.
In terms of apples, Granny Smith followed by Cripps Pink were the top performers, with Jazz showing strong potential to produce good revenue per hectare as volumes increase. For pears, Packham and Williams pears were the bottom two performing varieties.
The cost of production per hectare increase 16 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year, in line with an overall trend of increasing production costs, which include labour, overheads, and depreciation.
The report found while yields per hectare increased 32 per cent between 2008 and 2015, costs of produce rose 51 per cent and cash operating surplus (EBITDA) per hectare fell 36 per cent.
Between 2008 and 2015 yields per hectare have increased 32 per cent, costs of production per hectare have increased 51 per cent, and the cash operating surplus (EBITDA) per hectare has decreased 36 per cent.
Exports and marketing were cited as opportunities for the apple and pear industry to improve prices.
“To help raise prices, we all want to see a domestic marketing campaign succeed in promoting our products and creating more value and demand for them,” the report stated. “Hort Innovation manages marketing using the apple and pear marketing levy and is working on a new campaign for 2017.”