Apricot prices on the rise

Agreste, the bureau of statistics of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has published a note of conjuncture on the 2021 apricot campaign - marketing, surface area and production.

“On July 1st 2021, a half-harvest is predicted compared to the average production 2016-2020. To this day, it is the lowest production of the past 42 years. The historical frost in the spring, especially in the Rhône Valley and Provence, has severely cut down the production potential. The European harvest, also affected by the frost, is expected to be the lowest in at least 30 years. In June, the offer on the market is low. Apricot prices remain high due to the scarce supply.”

Production and surface area
The late varieties mostly found in the Rhône Valley are affected the most. In Languedoc-Roussillon, the production estimates are now a bit higher since the last forecast. The frost mostly affected the early varieties and losses are variable. In the Gard, some orchards were spared by protection methods and the areas closest to the sea were the least affected. The losses are very important in the Vaucluse where the frost happened during fruit set, with -70% compared to the average of the last 5 years. Drop in production and large calibers in the Rhône Valley in June. The losses were made even worse by the recent bad weather (wind and hail).

“In June 2021, prices were on the rise (+12% in a year, and +45% compared to the 2016-2020 average). At the beginning of the month, the heterogeneous quality of the fruit pushes the operators to sell the batches for ‘apricot jam’. There is no demand and the fruits are accumulating in storage. With the arrival on the market of more tasty varieties and more summery weather, the demand will increase. French apricots are being promoted, as they replace the Spanish production. The market is fluid. Export sales are good, especially to Germany.”

“The first apricot volumes marketed in May 2021 arrive mid-Month from the Roussillon, and then from the Gard and the Provence. Both supply and sales are reduced. For now, supermarkets focus on the Spanish products, while waiting for the French supply to grow. The quantity of apricots from Spain is lower compared to the previous years, due to the frost there as well.”

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