In MY 2019/20 (January/December), EU production of peaches and nectarines is estimated to increase 6.6 percent compared to the previous season to 4.1 million MT due to favorable weather conditions in most of the major producing countries. Conversely, in MY 2019/20 (April/March) EU cherry production is projected to decline 18 percent to 681,596 MT. Unfavorable weather conditions during flowering and ripening in EU producing countries support the anticipated decline.
EU stone fruit exports continue to decline as a result of the 2014 Russian embargo imposed on food and agricultural products. During MY 2019/20, in response to EU domestic supplies, EU imports of cherries may increase while EU imports of peaches and nectarines are expected to decrease. The United States is the fifth largest non-EU supplier of cherries.
Main EU suppliers
In MY 2018/19, the main suppliers of peaches and nectarines to the EU were Chile, South Africa, Turkey and Morocco. EU’s total imports of peaches and nectarines rose 28 percent to 34,855 MT and valued at $86 million. In MY 2019/20, EU peaches and nectarines imports are expected to lower due to the forecast higher production.
The EU is a net exporter of peaches and nectarines with exports largely exceeding imports. With lower domestic supplies in MY 2018/19, the volume of EU’s exports of peaches and nectarines lowered 38 percent to 155,395 MT and valued at $141 million. The main destination for EU peaches and nectarines were Belarus, Switzerland, and the Ukraine. Due to the Russian embargo on agricultural and food products imposed since 2014 (see Policy Section), EU peaches and nectarines exports to Russia remain negligible, costing about $170 million. In MY 2019/20, EU peaches and nectarines exports are expected to grow due to the forecast increase in production.
Total cherry production in MY 2019/20 (April/March) is projected at 681,596 MT, an 18 percent decrease compared with the last season. The expected strong drop in the major producing countries is supported by unfavorable weather conditions during flowering and ripening. According to FAS projections, the updated data for total EU cherry planted area is expected to stabilize around 159,800 ha in MY 2019/20.