The "Stone Fruit: World Markets and Trade" report of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) predicts that the world production of peaches and nectarines will increase by 1.9 million tons, reaching a record of 22.3 million.
China's production is projected at 1.5 million tons, reaching a record of 15.0 million, as the dry conditions at the beginning of the season in Shandong Province, the main producer, were offset by the good conditions of growth in other producing provinces. Exports are expected to increase by almost 60%, totaling 100,000 tons, driven by higher shipments to Vietnam. Imports are also expected to increase by 28,000 tons, driven by a growing demand for Chilean products and the elimination of tariffs on Australian imports on January 1, 2019, as part of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement.
US production is expected to increase by almost 20% amounting to 814,000 tons, as there were many cold hours which led to a very good flowering for the peaches of California and the main producing states of the east coast. According to forecasts, the higher supply will lead to an increase in exports to the main markets in Canada and Mexico, reaching 75,000 tons. Lower shipments from Chile in early 2019 are expected to decrease total imports to 35,000 tons.
EU production is forecast to increase by almost 260,000 tons, amounting to 4.1 million. The planted area will remain stable. Improved supplies are expected to increase exports by almost 30%, remaining at 200,000 tons and reduce imports to 30,000 tons.
Turkey's production is projected at 830,000 tons. The planting area is also expected to increase again as growers continue to turn the orchards into varieties suitable for export markets and the juice industry. Exports are projected to remain stable at 130,000 tons.
Chile's production is estimated at 162,000 tons, growing slightly higher than last season. Exports are expected to remain constant at 98,000 tons, as larger shipments to China compensate for lower shipments to the US market, their main market.
Japan's production is forecast to decrease by 12,000 tons, remaining at 102,000 tons. The climatic events have caused a general downward trend.
Australia's production is expected to experience a third consecutive year of improvement, increasing to 96,000 tons. This trend is expected to continue to grow as the orchards are replanted with newer and higher-yielding varieties. Exports are expected to increase to up to 17,000 tons, with higher supplies and strong demand from China.
Russia is expected to remain the world's leading importer, as sustained shipments from Turkey and Belarus keep imports almost unchanged at 225,000 tons.