Report Highlights: 

Post estimates that apple production will decrease slightly in CY2014 as a result of unfavorable weather conditions and a reduction in planted area. Apple import increased 62 percent reaching 93,964 MT in 2013 and they are expected to continue increasing in CY 2014, which presents an opportunity for U.S exporters. Pear imports will increase nearly 6 percent in CY 2014. Grape production will decrease slightly in CY2014.

Apples 

Area: 

Total planted area to apples for 2014 is estimated to decrease to 37,579 hectares, a 2 percent decline from the previous year, as the planting of new trees is limited by the higher costs of production. The reason for the reduction in the area is the eradication of old orchards, which were showing low productivity in recent years. Some producers claimed dissatisfaction with the profit margins, and did not show any interest in replacing eradicated trees. New investments in these areas are not expected in the short term and as a result, the area for 2015 will remain the same as that of 2014. 

Santa Catarina continues to be the main apple-producing state in Brazil, accounting for 48 percent of total area, followed by Rio Grande do Sul with 47 percent. 

Brazil mainly produces three varieties of apples: Gala, Fuji and Eva. 

Production: 

In calendar year (CY) 2013, apple production totaled 1.226 million metric tons (MMT). The major producing regions for apples during the Brazilian winter and spring (Jun-Nov) experienced unfavorable weather. Due to these adverse weather conditions, the general quality of the fruit was low and some fruit used exclusively for processing in 2013. 

State

 Production 2013 (MT)

 Santa Catarina

 530,601

 Rio Grande do Sul

 642,989

 Parana

 49,300

 Sao Paulo

 3,665

 TOTAL BRAZIL

 1,226,555

CY 2014 began with hail in the principal producing areas and as a result, some orchards experienced problems. This weather damaged the fruit and has affected the quality of the 2014 harvest, and will lead to lower production when compared to 2013. 

The Eva harvest in Paraná state began in the second half of November 2013. This variety is sold in the domestic market until mid-February when the Gala variety is harvested. Because of the unfavorable weather conditions in 2013, the Gala harvest was delayed until March 2014 and the size of the fruit was smaller. 

The Fuji variety was harvested in mid-April 2014. According to producers, the volume harvested this season is slightly smaller when compared to past years with a better quality compared to last year’s crop. There were a sufficient number of cold nights and warm days in early March, the period of maturation of the fruit, which resulted in good coloration. Although hail storms also affected the Fuji orchards, the amount of damage was far less to the Fuji crop than to the Gala crop. Trade sources indicate that total apple production for 2014 harvest production is estimated to decrease 4 percent and this number could reach 9 percent depending on the fruit that will be harvested during July – November, 2014 

Consumption: 

Brazilians consume fresh apples with large variations in preference depending on the region. Consumers in southern Brazil, who have been exposed to a more European style of colonization, prefer larger apples. Consumers in the central region of Brazil prefer medium-sized apples. Those in the Northeast favor smaller-sized apples. Trade contacts highlight that this wide variety of preferences within a single country means that the entire crop could potentially be consumed internally. According to the World Apple and Pear Association, fresh apple consumption was 3 kilos (6.61 lbs) per inhabitant in 2013. 

Apples consumption decreased in 2014 when compared to the previous year as a consequence of the low quality of the fruit available for the purchase. Consumers substituted low quality apples for other fruits. 

Apple juice is not included on the list of the seven most widely consumed types of fresh or frozen juice consumption in Brazil. Grape (22.5 percent of total juice consumed), peach (21.1 percent) and orange (9.6 percent) are the most popular juice flavors. 

Trade: 

Fresh Apple Exports 

In CY2013, Brazil exported 85,429 MT of apples, an 18 percent increase compared to the same period in 2012. Apple producers prioritized exports to recover from 2011. This situation will not happen in CY2014, as the adverse weather conditions interfere in the volume and quality of the fruit. 

In CY 2014, exports are forecast to decline by 9 percent. The quality of the fruit has been damaged by the adverse weather conditions and the European markets, where the bulk of exports are destined, prefer the top quality fruit, without a damaged appearance. 

Apple Imports 

Fresh Apple 

Due to increased consumption in 2013 and more apples were imported to the national market. According to trade statistics, the amount of imported apples rose by 62 percent, reaching 93,964 MT in 2013. 

In 2013, Argentina was the major supplier, providing 49 percent of the total imports, followed by Chile at 42 percent and France at 3 percent. 

Apple imports will continue to increase in CY 2014. This result from adverse weather conditions, a drop in production, and reduced quality of the fruit, all of which will stimulate imports. This is an opportunity for U.S. suppliers of the fruit. It is expected that Brazil will increase imports by about 4 percent in CY 2014. A slight increase of 1 percent is forecast for 2015. 

Apple Juice Exports and Imports 

Apple juice exports decreased in 2013 when compared to 2012 and this trend will continue in CY 2014. Most of the fruit was destined for further processing because the quality was not good enough for table consumption. The apple juice industry is not well established in Brazil, so most of the damaged and small fruit was destined for processing for other products such as puree, concentrates, etc, and not for juice. The Brazilian juice industry focuses on other fruit flavors such as grape and orange. That is the reason why only an insignificant volume of apple juice is imported. 

Harmonized Tariff System (HS) Codes: 

Tariff Rate Table 

Tariff Number

(HTS)

 Product Description

 Rate (%)

 0808.10.00

 Apples, Fresh

 10

 2009.7

 Apple juice

 14

Pear 

Production 

Pear production in Brazil is insignificant with output estimated at 19,000 MT. Thus, the majority of demand for pears is met by imports. This small production is concentrated in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. The fruit is sold locally, mostly in small cities and with little impact on the big wholesale markets. 

CY 2014 began with started with some hail in the principal producing areas. As a result, some orchards experienced problems. Considering that the apple production and pear production areas are close to one another, the unusual weather conditions also affected the pear production and will lead to decreased production for 2014. The cost of pear production is expensive when compared to tropical fruit in Brazil, and thus limits the number if local pear growers. 

Trade 

Imports 

Pear imports total were down 13 percent in CY 2013 to 189,696 MT versus 216,826 MT for the previous year. 

Trade sources forecast that 2014 pears imports will increase nearly 6 percent, reaching the volume imported in 2012. This is a result of increased consumption. 

Harmonized Tariff System (HS) Codes: 

Tariff Rate Table

Tariff Number

(HTS)

 Product Description

 Rate (%)

 0808.30.00

 Pears, Fresh

 10

Grapes 

Area 

For 2014, total planted area to grapes is expected to decrease 2 percent to 79,842 hectares. According to recent surveys, the states of São Paulo and Bahia are losing area planted to grapes due to higher land values. Grape growers were not stimulated by the unfavorable weather conditions for 2013/2014 season.

Production 

Grape production is expected to decrease 2 percent from 1.417 MMT in 2013 to 1.388 MMT in 2014. FAS sources forecast that grape production will increase by 1 percent in 2015 reaching 2013 levels. This result will be obtained due to forecast favorable weather conditions. 

The peak of the harvest for the export market is in May and September-November and for the domestic market, April-June and September-December. Production in Rio Grande do Sul is intended for processing, in the Northeast (Sao Francisco Valley) for exports, and in the state of Sao Paulo, for table consumption.

Consumption 

Post sources estimate grape consumption at 3.54 kilos (7.08 lbs) per inhabitant. 

Following last year’s trend, there was strong growth in demand for natural grape juice (with stocks being exhausted at some wineries). As consumers seek healthier juice options and organic products, there is a trend among producers to shift to producing grapes destined for juice as opposed to wine. 

Trade 

Grape Exports 

Grape exports will decrease two percent from 43,181 MT in 2013 to 42,150 MT in 2014. Trade sources forecast that grape exports in 2015 will remain at the same level or will increase slightly to one percent.

Grape Imports 

Post forecasts that grape imports for CY2015, will return to the same level as 2013. CY2014 grape imports decreased one percent compared to 2013. Due to unfavorable weather conditions in Chile and high production costs in Argentina, reducing the competitiveness of those countries for 2014/2015 season. Chile is the main supplier, accounting for 75 percent market share, and the Argentina market share was 17 percent.