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Chile and South Africa, Europe's largest stone fruit suppliers
During the 2016-2017 campaign, Europe imported 31,172 tonnes of stone fruit worth 2 million dollars.
Meanwhile, the EU countries expect to harvest 4 million tonnes of peaches and nectarines in 2017/2018.
According to a report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the main producers of peaches and nectarines in Europe are Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The acreage has been under pressure in recent years and has been reduced to 229,000 hectares in 2016/2017. For the 2017/2018 season, estimates point to a stable area totalling 210,000 hectares.
The USDA document adds that with the introduction of new, higher yielding varieties, there has been more diversity in this segment. The harvest period has also been extended, particularly in Spain. Thus, the total European production for 2017-2018 is estimated at 4 million tonnes, which is 6% more than in the previous year. A greater harvest is expected in the larger production areas due to the favourable climatic conditions.
Consumption, exports and markets
Consumption is also expected to rise slightly in 2017-2018 and reach 3 million tonnes. The volume devoted to industrial processing will also increase by 13%, mostly due to a higher supply than last year and to the fact that prices in the fresh produce market are low.
Europe is a major exporter of peaches and nectarines. The export value in 2016-2017 was 164 million dollars, down 17%. The volume was 24% lower than in the previous year: 225,822 tonnes.
There is also a strong growth in exports from Greece and Spain to Serbia. In the first half of 2017, export rose by 22% due to the growing demand in the markets. The export volume is expected to increase further, as a larger harvest is expected for 2017/2018. The volume could be the same as the one reached before the Russian boycott.
In terms of markets, the main destination for EU-28 stone fruit is Belarus, followed by Switzerland and Ukraine.
As for imports, South Africa and Chile are the main suppliers. Europe imported a total of 31,172 tonnes in 2016/2017 worth 82 million dollars. Imports were greater, since the harvest in the previous year had been smaller. In the first half of this year, Europe imported 14% less peaches and nectarines from Chile and Turkey. The volume is expected to continue to decline if the European volume increases in 2017/2018.
You can read the USDA document here
Publication date: 9/13/2017
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