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French cherry production 31% higher than 2013

Cherry production is clearly higher than in 2013, up 31% compared to 2013 on the 1st July and up 20% compared to the 5 year average. End of commercialisation is difficult with average prices down 5% compared to the 2009-2013 averages in June.

2014 production is expected to be higher than last year. The Minister of Agriculure's SSP (Service of Statistics and Forecasts) estimates cherry production to be 31% higher than in 2013. 2012 and 2013 were the weakest of the last decade.

In the Rhone-Alpes, harvest of the late varieties is approaching with an important production this year. Fruit was of small to average calibre this year due to over-charged trees. At the end of the season lots of fruit will be left on the trees due to low sales. Treatment against Suzukii flies continues. Flowering occurred under favourable climate conditions. 

In the PACA region acreage has diminished with producers turning to other productions, notably vines. Stormy weather led to some loss, yet yield remains higher than in 2013.

Harvest is almost over in the Languedoc-Roussillon, lack of rain means that harvest was carried out without fruit being damaged. Early varieties were of small size Some operators held back on picking small calibers amongst the later varieties in order to commercialise bigger sizes. Production was slightly better than last forecast. 

Trees were heavy with fruit at the start of the season in the Midi-Pyrénées. Harvest was back to normal following the last few weak production years. Climate conditions did not have a high impact on production.

The market was difficult at the end of the season. The 2014 sales campaign began in the Roussillon at the start of May. At first the market was rather saturated, but a lack of Burlat production and rain affecting harvest meant that it cleared at the end of May. Interregional competition and other seasonal fruits, mainly strawberries, were competition for the smaller calibers. Prices over the month were on average close to the 2009-2013 average (-2%). Demand at the end of the month dropped due to competition from other stone fruit. Harvest slowed down, the market is difficult and prices are 5% lower than the 2009-2013 average.

This cherry report was based on 4 regions:
Midi-Pyrénées : 4% of national production in 2013.
Languedoc-Roussillon : 13% of national production in 2013.
Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur : 44% of national production in 2013.
Rhone-Alpes : 27% of national production in 2013.
All of these regions represent 88% of national production in 2013.

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