The European pear market currently appears to be at a minor deadlock. There are talks of a difficult Conference season in the Netherlands. Other classic pear markets, such as Italy and Germany, are also dealing with an increased demand. A greater exception is France, where the pear market is still growing at a steady rate. While fruit from storage is available in the northern hemisphere, the harvest is in full swing south of the equator. In the southern growing countries, the season is not developing without problems either. The ongoing Corona crisis, but also the weather and Brexit, are behind those challenges.
The pear marketst in Australia and New Zealand are slowly gearing up, but both countries are concerned about the shortage of pickers. Due to the measures against the coronavirus, both governments have hermetically closed their borders for about a year, thereby preventing the flow of international harvest workers. This could lead to lower yields, but it is still too early for exact harvest estimates. The problem could also encourage growers to prioritize quality over quantity.
In Australia, according to Hort Innovation statistics, 118.5 tons of pears were grown in the past year and was available in the pear market. This represented a growth of four percent compared to 2019. The total value of the production increased by 13 percent, to $ 130 million, with 39 percent eventually ending up in the processing sector. Australia also exported 9.7 tonnes, with barely a third (3.2 tonnes) going to neighboring New Zealand pear market. In terms of varieties, the Packham is still the most common one on the fresh market, with 63 percent of the total harvest, followed by the Williams (20%) and Beurré Bosc (10%). About 60 percent of the Australian population consumes fresh pears.