In MY2022/23, the EU production of peaches and nectarines is projected to amount to 3.1 MMT, a recovery from the previous marketing year’s low levels. The increase in production is expected to materialize in the main producing Member States (Italy, Greece, and France) with the notable exception of Spain, where a cool spell and frosts during spring significantly compromised yielding potential.
According to FAS Post projections, area planted to peaches and nectarines is anticipated to remain stable. Italy and France are the exception to the rule, as poor economic performance and plant diseases continue to push area down. For cherries, EU production in MY2022/23 is expected to amount to 726,550 MT, up from the 667,045 MT obtained in MY2021/22. The main EU producing Member States, except for Spain, Portugal and Hungary, report improved production levels in MY2022/23. Total EU cherry planted area is anticipated to remain stable just above the 164,000 Ha.
Despite the positive production outlook, higher agricultural inputs costs, especially for plant protection products and fuel, along with an agricultural labor deficit, remain concerns for stone fruit producers across the EU.
The EU is a net exporter of peaches and nectarines, with Spain as the major Member State exporting outside the EU. Despite the increase in domestic production of peaches and nectarines in other EU main producing Member States, such as Italy, Greece or France, the shorter Spanish crop is projected to drive exports down. Imports are projected slightly up as the recovery of tourism activity allows for increased consumption. In the case of cherries, the EU is a net importer. The ample anticipated Turkish crop is expected to result in higher EU imports, which combined with the increase domestic supply, should allow for a recovery in EU cherry consumption levels.