The world’s pear production amounts to approximately 12 million tonnes and is currently on the increase due mainly to the growing productive capacity of China, the world’s largest producer with approximately 7 million tonnes per year. Second place, with an annual production of approximately one million tonnes, goes to Italy. Within the European Union, Italy accounts for more than 40% of total supply and is the largest exporter of this product. A look at the varieties cultivated in Europe in recent years shows a significant drop in the quantities of Passacrassana, Kaiser, and Guyot-Limonera, in favour of increased overall volumes of William, Abate Fetel and Conference. Italy produces 30% of Conference, 60% of Decana del Comizio, 64% of William and 100% of Abate and Kaiser pears produced in Europe.
The Region that offers the best development conditions is Emilia Romagna, that covers more than 65% of all national output. Autumn production dominates in Italy. The commercial calendar is therefore largely concentrated (around 50%) in the October-December period. However, discreet quantities are also marketed during the remainder of the year, apart from in May and June.
The Abate Fetel pear is clearly the dominant variety: during the last five years, production has wavered between 220,000 and 325,000 tonnes, with a share that has increased to around 33% of the total. Conference pears, on the other hand, are experiencing some difficulties. Production is now stable under 115,000 tonnes. Cultivation of the Decana and Passacrassana varieties is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In the last few years, the Coscia pear, a typical variety of Southern Italy, has recorded figures of around 60,000 tonnes. Kaiser variety has maintained a steady productive level of around 60,000 tonnes.