Report Highlights: 

With more than 2MMT, Italy provides around 20 percent of the EU-28 apple production. Italy’s MY 2014/15 apple production is forecast to increase by 11 percent compared to the previous year thanks to favorable weather conditions. Italy is the largest pear producer in the EU-28 and ranks third in the world after China and the United States. Italy’s MY 2014/15 pear production is forecast at 707,000 MT, a 2.6 percent decrease over last season’s supply because of the heavy rainfall occurred during fruit setting and maturity phases. Italy ranks sixth in world’s table grape production and third among table grape exporters, behind Chile and the United States. After a record campaign in MY 2013/14, Italy’s MY 2014/15 table grape production is forecast to decrease significantly, mainly due to unfavorable weather during flowering and fruit set.

APPLES 

PRODUCTION 

With more than 2MMT, Italy provides approximately 20 percent of the EU-28 apple production. Trentino-South Tyrol covers 70 percent of the Italian apple production and 15 percent of the European one. Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Lombardia, and Campania are the main apple-producing areas. Golden Delicious, Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, and Granny Smith represent the most widely planted varieties. Italy’s MY 2014/15 apple production is forecast to increase by 11 percent compared to the previous year thanks to favorable weather conditions. Trentino and Alto Adige registered production increases of 12.1 and 8.9 percent respectively, compared to 2013. Remarkable increases are forecast for Red Delicious (+19.6 percent), Granny Smith (+19.6 percent), Fuji (+12.1 percent), and Golden Delicious (+9.5 percent). Fruit size is forecast to be above average and quality is high. 

CONSUMPTION 

Experts estimate that in MY 2014 approximately 90.7 percent (2,168,268MT) of the Italian crop will be suitable for domestic fresh consumption and export, while the remainder (220,000 MT) will be destined to the industry. 

TRADE 

In MY 2013/14, Italy imported 42,237 MT of apples, mainly from France (7,168 MT), Chile (5,033 MT), Croatia (4,012 MT), and Germany (3,761 MT). In MY 2013/14, Italy exported 874,027 MT of apples, mainly to Germany (306,817 MT), Spain (65,172 MT), Libya (53,254 MT), Egypt (50,487 MT), and Algeria (38,618 MT). Exports to Russia (mostly Granny Smith and Golden) reached 26,318 MT. On August 7, 2014, Russia issued a decree banning certain food products from the EU-28 Member States, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Norway. The ban came into force immediately and is expected to be in place for one year. The list of banned agricultural products is extensive and includes fruits, vegetables, beef, fish, poultry, pork, dairy products, nuts, prepared meats, and certain prepared products. The Russian ban made the Italian industry consider the opportunity of new destinations for Italian produce. For apples, growing markets could be represented by North Africa and Middle East. 

PEARS 

PRODUCTION 

Italy is the largest EU-28 pear producer and ranks third in the world after China and the United States. Approximately 34,241 hectares of pear orchards are cultivated in Italy, mainly located in the northeast. Pear planted area has been declining over the last decade due to lack of profitable investment opportunities. Emilia-Romagna (Ferrara, Modena, and Bologna) is the main producing area with almost 66 percent of Italy’s total output. Abate Fetel is the dominant variety, followed by William B.C., Conference, Kaiser, Coscia-Ercollini, Decana, Max Red Bartlett, and Santa Maria. Italy’s MY 2014/15 pear production is forecast at 707,000 MT, a 2.6 percent decrease over last season’s supply because of the heavy rainfall occurred during fruit setting and maturity phases. Production decreases are forecast for Kaiser, Decana del Comizio, Santa Maria, and William. 

CONSUMPTION 

Italy consumes most of its domestic production, exporting almost 19 percent. 

TRADE 

Italy’s MY 2013/14 pear imports reached 102,209 MT, mainly from Argentina (36,446 MT), Spain (28,260 MT), Chile (11,007 MT), and South Africa (7,920 MT). In MY 2013/14, Italy exported 146,601 MT of pears, mainly to Germany (64,024 MT), France (18,482 MT), Libya (11,127 MT), and Austria (7,609 MT). Exports to Russia reached 2,581 MT. On August 7, 2014, Russia issued a decree banning certain food products from the EU-28 Member States, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Norway. The ban came into force immediately and is expected to be in place for one year. The list of banned agricultural products is extensive and includes fruits, vegetables, beef, fish, poultry, pork, dairy products, nuts, prepared meats, and certain prepared products. The Russian ban made the Italian industry consider the opportunity of new destinations for Italian produce. For pears, the most interesting areas could be represented by North Africa (Algeria and Libya) and Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates. Brazil could also be an interesting destination for some varieties. 

TABLE GRAPES 

PRODUCTION 

Italy ranks sixth in world’s table grape production and third among table grape exporters, behind Chile and the United States. The Italian table grape production is concentrated in Southern Italy, mainly in Apulia and Sicily, which account for 70 and 25 percent of the domestic production, respectively. Italia, Victoria, and Red Globe are the main varieties in Italy, covering approximately 66 percent of the table grape area. In the last few years, Italy has gradually moved to seedless grapes cultivation, due to an increasing demand from intra and extra EU markets. Sugraone and Crimson are the most popular seedless varieties followed by Thompson, Centennial, and Sublime. 

After a record campaign in MY 2013/14, Italy’s MY 2014/15 table grape production is forecast to decrease significantly, mainly due to unfavorable weather during flowering and fruit set. Moreover, the cold temperatures during mid-July damaged several plantations thus affecting the fruit quality which overall is forecast to be good. The production drop, slow consumption, and the Russian ban made wholesale prices drop by 25-30 percent compared to the last season from 1.30-1.50 Euro/kg to 0.70-1.20 Euro/kg. Early varieties (Black Magic and Vittoria) are sold from May to the end of July. For medium and late varieties (Italia, Palieri, Pizzutello Bianca, and Red Globe) ―mainly from Sicily, Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, and Sardinia―the harvest occurs from August to December. 

CONSUMPTION 

Italy is the leading table grape consumer in the EU-28, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, France, Romania, Portugal, Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, and Slovakia (in decreasing order of consumption). Despite the fact that Italian seeded grapes are still greatly appreciated, experts claim that EU-28 consumers are increasingly demanding seedless varieties because of their quality and convenience. Thus, many EU-28 table grapes farmers are replacing old seeded varieties with new seedless ones (i.e. Sugraone, Crimson, Thompson, Regal, Summer Royal, Centennial, Sublime, etc.). Moreover, a greater focus is now being placed on late varieties (i.e. Crystal and Princess), in order to make the European grapes available after the busy summer fruit season.

TRADE

In MY 2013/14, Italy exported 500,971 MT of table grapes, mainly to Germany (115,544 MT), France (100,620 MT), and Poland (58,720 MT). Germany, Poland, and the Baltic States prefer the bigger Apulian grapes, while France favors the smaller Sicilian ones. In MY 2013/14, Italy exported 15,514 MT of table grapes to Russia, mostly the Red Globe variety from Apulia. Italy’s MY 2014/15 table grape exports are forecast to decrease as a consequence of the Russian ban. Moreover, approximately 9,300 MT of produce are forecast to be compensated by the EU intervention programs. Furthermore, new strategic markets could be represented by North Africa, Middle East, and Northern Europe. Seedless varieties (i.e. Sugar Crisp, Sweet Sunshine, Sweet Celebration, Sweet Sapphire, Jack’s Salute, Cotton Candy) are not forecast to be heavily affected by the Russian ban as they are mainly sent to the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries, and the United Arab Emirates. In MY 2013/14, Italy imported 20,237 MT of table grapes, mainly from Egypt (4,346 MT), the Netherlands (4,189 MT), Spain (4,134 MT), and Chile (2,704 MT).

Abbreviations and definitions used in this report: 

EU European Union 

MS EU-28 Member State 

Ha hectare; 1 ha = 2.471 acres 

MT Metric ton = 1000 kg 

MMT Million metric tons 

MY Marketing year 

Apples: July/June 

Pears: July/June 

Table Grapes: June/May 

HS Codes: 

Apples: 080810 

Pears: 080830 

Table grapes: 08061010