Canada - Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual

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Canada experienced a 5.2 percent increase in fresh apple production for marketing year (MY) 2011/12, up to 390,362 metric tons (MT) from 371, 025 MT during MY 2010/11. Despite the improvement in 2011, the fresh apple crop will experience crippling losses in MY 2012/13, adding to low production figures over the past decade. In fact, apple production has been on a declining trend for a number of years. This is consistent with a longer term declining trend in planted area which in turn, reflects a declining profitability in apple cultivation.
Post forecasts imports of fresh apples to jump 18.4 percent to 225,000 during MY 2012/13, coming off low domestic production. This low supply level in Canada, stable demand and a persistently strong Canadian dollar that gives imports a competitive advantage over the local production are the main factors behind this trend.
Pear production will continue its declining trend, with an estimated crop of 6,250 MT for MY 2012/13, down 24.6 percent from 8,293 MT in 2011/12. This drop in production in MY 2012/13 is largely due to the April frost. However, Canada was already experiencing a downward trend, aggravated over the past several years by the slow death of the pear processing industry in Canada. In 2008 CanGro closed the St. Davids pear cannery in Ontario, the last one of 32 fruit canning plants that existed in the province.
Post forecasts the volume of imported fresh pears for MY 2012/1 to remain flat, at 70,000 MT from 70,042 MT in 2011/12. Similar factors to those prevailing for apples influence this trend (strong Canadian dollar and stable demand). In addition, specific to pears is the disappearance of canning plants; ten years ago 13 percent of total imports of fresh pears were destined to processing. This has now dropped to zero, thus slowing import growth.
Only a small fraction of Canada's grape production consists of fresh table grapes. Based on available data from Statistics Canada and information from provincial authorities Post estimates that Canada produces about 3-4,000 MT of fresh table grapes annually. Domestic consumption is basically satisfied through imports of table grapes, with annual volumes around 180-190,000 MT.
Post forecasts a 4.3 percent increase in imports of table grapes for MY 2012/13, up to 180,000 MT from 172,550 MT in 2011/12.

Mihai Lupescu