Drop in European production expected for 2018

During the "Forum Peschicoltura Europea" promoted by Cso and Cesena Fiera at Macfruit, it emerged that a drop is expected for peaches, nectarines and percoca peaches in Italy, Spain and Greece. 

"As for southern Italy, we're expecting a 33% drop for very early peach varieties, a 16% drop for the early varieties, -25% for medium varieties and -25% for late varieties. An 18, 24 and 20% drop is expected for early to late nectarines while a 29% drop is expected for percoca peaches. In central Italy, -15% of peaches is expected as well as -12% of percoca peaches and -16% of nectarines. In the north, there will be a 7 to 15% day delay in ripening," explained Elisa Macchi from Cso.

Emilia Romagna: compared to 2017, there will be fewer orchards destined to peach (-7%) and nectarine (-10%) production. Productivity doesn't seem very good, especially for nectarines. 
Piemonte: 5% drop in orchards expected and the yield per hectare could be similar to last year or slightly higher. 
Veneto: drop in orchards: peaches 6%, nectarines 10%. Expected production similar to 2017.

Peach domestic consumption dropped by 50% over the past few years. Javier Basols (Cooperativas Agro Alimentarias Espana) explained it while reporting a 10% drop in production. "We are worried about it, as consumption went from 7-8 kg/hear per capita to 4 kg. We need to focus on quality and communication." Compared to Italy, though, Spain has a much lower production cost (€0.14/kg). 

"Producers were disappointed with what they got in 2017, as they only earned €0.15/kg with great losses. Quantities are expected to be low in 2018 due to the weather, which damaged at least 13,000 hectares," explained Christos Giannakakis from the Imathia cooperative.

Last year, Greece exported 10% more peaces and nectarines going from 168 to 186 thousand tons, while Italy recorded a 2% drop (from 226 to 222 thousand tons) and Spain recorded a 12% increase (from 826 to 922 thousand tons).

Since 2009, France has been focusing mainly on the domestic market, curating communication and product quality particularly well. "Consumers demand the French produce and I believe it's the fruit of years of successful campaigns," explained Bruno Darnaud from Féderation fruits et légumese d'Occitanie Peches et abricots de France.

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