Insufficient supply in the face of active demand

Rain and hail for the start of the French apricot campaign

The first French apricots were harvested around May 15th, but the weather conditions have severely affected the start of the season. After a long period of drought, a strong storm and rainfall arrived around the 18th of May. For the past 10 days, thunderstorms have followed one another on a daily basis, sometimes producing heavy rainfall in a matter of minutes. Numerous hail storms have affected several production zones including Baronnies, Isère, southern Drôme, Provence, Crau, Gard…

Impact of hail on peaches - Photo credit: Muriel Millan

Rain and hail storms
“We are in a very paradoxical situation,” explains Raphaël Martinez. There has been a spectacular reversal in weather patterns, from widespread drought to very frequent thunderstorms. In the Roussillon, which has been suffering from water shortage for several months, the water reserves are now being replenished.

“The most serious concerns have been lifted for this region and all production areas can once again be irrigated.” In other basins, however, hail and rain have had a negative impact on the fruit, and quality problems have begun to appear (cherries bursting, peaches and nectarines damaged by hail, and apricots weakened by rain). “Obtaining the usual sugar levels has therefore been difficult so far. We have asked producers to be vigilant, and retailers to be more tolerant.”

The damage caused by the hail storms is impossible to quantify for the moment. “There are hail storms almost every day so we cannot get precise data yet.”

Photo credit: Clémence Falque  

Insufficient supply in the face of active demand 

“There is active demand for apricots, but the French supply is currently very inadequate. It is the opposite to what we had hoped for at the start of the season. This weekend sees a dip in supply, with the end of the first early varieties (Pricia, Colorado, Wonder). This week, a new wave of varieties will be harvested (Flopria, Magicot, Samouraï, Lilycot). If all goes well, large-scale deliveries will resume this week and increase steadily throughout the month of June.”

Regarding the international market, the Emilia Romagna and Murcia regions have experienced the same difficulties, leading to a severely limited supply and the imminent end of the Spanish season. During the first 5 weeks (Week 17 to 21), imports have suffered a 25% drop compared with the 2018-2022 average.

For more information:
Raphaël Martinez
AOP Pêches et Abricots de France
Phone: +33 (0)6 09 98 38 09       

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