Forecast for the 2023 Australian apple and pear season predicts reduced volumes and stronger prices

Australian apples

The effects of adverse weather will be evident in the 2023 Australian apple and pear crop, according to the latest forecast from industry body Apple and Pear Australia (APAL).

Chief executive Philip Turnbull said flooding in the eastern states in late 2022 and two significant hail events in the Goulburn Valley will no doubt impact the supply of apples and pears in the domestic market in 2023.

“While we are confident there will be an ample supply of high-quality apples and pears in the Australian market this year, the reduced volumes will see us back on par with the volumes of 2020. With this, we will have a more valuable proposition for the retailers that deserves to command a fair and meaningful price in 2023,” said Turnbull.

“Primarily due to the hail event on 22 December 2022 that affected orchards stretching from Tatura to Bunbartha, we will see 11.6 per cent fewer apples and 35.1 per cent fewer pears in the national class 1 supply of pomefruit this year.”

The 2023 Apple and Pear Crop Estimate echoes this outlook, acknowledging that gross apple production is expected to be down 7.9 per from 2022 with a total production of just 290,000 tonnes, with an average national packout similar to last year. Similarly, the crop forecast predicts gross pear production will be down 16.1 per cent on 2022, at 72,000 tonnes.

“These shifts in supply will enable weightier negotiations this year, whereby growers will be in a unique position to have more robust conversations with the retailers around fair fruit prices,” said Turnbull.

“With a smaller crop of good quality fruit and steady consumer demand, we expect prices for apples and pears to be stronger than in 2022, and we encourage growers to consider this.”