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The stone fruit season in Mediterranean is round the corner. Spain ramps up production & dominates in Europe. Good crop is expected in Greece with increasing export to European & Middle East market. In Italy the season looks more dramatic for apricots & nectarines due to the heavy rainstorms in recent weeks, which caused a lot of damage to the crop. The heat in South Africa has resulted the lower production. Chile reminds the successful season with 20% increase in nectarine export to China.    

The Netherlands: demand decline due the weather conditions.

Peaches & nectarines come to the Dutch market mostly from Spain, which currently deals with good crops. On the other side, the consumption in the Netherland is not as high as desired. Mainly because of cold weather, what doesn’t foster the apricot, peach & nectarine consumption. In spite of all challenges, traders expect it will get better in the future.      

Germany: Spain leads the parade.

The stone fruit season is ramp up now in Germany. Spain leads in supplies recent weeks.   The first Spanish nectarines & peaches arrived to Germany just before the Easter. The Greek season also started at the beginning of May. French, Italian & Turkish fruit are by and by getting to the market. The demand slightly declined after rather good start. The main reason according to traders is the cold weather recorded in recent weeks.

The demand for apricots is stable in recent years. Peaches, on the other terms, are placed by nectarines & Paraguayo peaches, in a lesser extent. During the season Spain keeps the domination in German trade partly due to the early start & export increase. Some traders say that Spanish growers prefer modern sweeter varieties, especially for apricots, in order to shake off a reputation of cheap, mass fruit producer. That is one of the reasons the Italian stone fruit export is losing ground year by.

France: apricot season delays.

It’s colder than usual in France recent weeks. That slows the stone fruit demand increase. The apricot harvesting started by and by on the 20th week, a week later than previous years. The production stays normal. Peach & nectarine start is expected on the 24th week. The main volume of fruit on the French market currently is shipped from Spain. Due to the low temperatures the consumption level stays lower, than usual this period, it caused lower prices.   

Spain: good season for peaches & nectarines.

Spain season has already started. The expected production volume for the current year is nearly 1,6 million tons, what is 9% more than last year.

Peaches make 331,7 thousand tons, nectarines – 635,1 thousand tons, Paraguayo peaches amount 331,8 thousand tons & pavias – 305,7 thousand tons. Nectarines (+15%) & Paraguayo peaches (+12%) demonstrated a maximum increase to 2017. Peaches production growth is a bit lower +6% in 2018. Pavias volume stands stable.  

The volume increase differs, depending on region. Catalonia shows the substantial increase in nectarine (+30%) & Paraguayo peaches (+18%). Aragon, Andalusia & Murcia regions made slight increase both in peach & nectarine production. While peach & nectarine production in Extremadura is 30% lower than last year.


Italy: difficult season for stone fruit.

Basilicata has gotten good production in contrast to last year. Prices declined due to small sizes. The season started with prices ranged between 1,3 and 1,5 Euro per kilo.

The apricot season had been already concluded & was less favorable as the peaches. The consumption stands very low due to a cold weather. Prices keep between 1,2 & 1,4 Euro per kilo.

Peaches are not also doing well. Recent hailstorms caused serious damage to the crops of Nectarprima & Big Bang varieties. It is still raining heavily in Apulia, taking a toll on stone fruit. Besides, the fruit sizes are substandard, compared to what traders are eager to get.   

The nectarine production is left behind in Sicily & fruit is almost unavailable. Climate conditions didn’t support local growers. If the weather permits, the Italian production should hit the market between 10th & 12th of June.  This also includes the apricots. Weather conditions such as low temperatures, rainstorms negatively affected flowering. Local & national stone fruit consumption also stays low.

The early varieties apricots crop in Emilia Romagna was almost destroyed by rainstorms. Such varieties as Aurora & Wonder Cot either were in trouble & the market responded in kind, as the quality wasn’t good.

Greece: exportisinprogress.

In Greece signs intimate the stone fruit season with good quality & high crops. Cold winter resulted in a good season, meaning that good peach production is expected. The season started nearly at the end of May with good weather in the North & North-west. In other parts of the country the crop was damaged in part by rainstorms.

Given a good season, Greek producers hope to hit the European market. The great export is planned to be shipped to Western Europe, the efforts to get to the Middle East market are also in progress. Meanwhile the Greek traders meet across the hard competition from Italy & Spain, both dealing with good crops & having more preferable geographical location, than Greece.

China: stone fruit prices keep high.

The stone fruit season in China is well under way. The peach harvesting is in progress. Great supplies are arriving from Hebei and Hubei. Fruit sizes are smaller due to the lack of rains, but the taste is good. Since peaches just came to the market, their prices are still stay high. But as soon as the market stocks increase, the prices will drop. The seasons come across, so the offer will be great, that means a hard competition.    

South Africa: grapes affect the stone fruit prices.

The heat wave affected the stone fruit season in South Africa, especially plums. It was the worse plum production in the recent eight years. There were less peaches available, the nectarine harvest was almost the same. The heat goes on impact stone fruit season.

The stone fruit prices are expected to be higher due to the low production. The great grapes production in South Africa threw a spanner in the works. After all, European traders preferred cheaper grapes to the stone fruit. The quality of stone fruit in general was perfect.

Chile: successful nectarine export to China.

The nectarine Chile export to China increased by 20% this year & reached 20,06 thousand tons. The export resulted in success for the country since China direction had launched in 2017. Nectarines were the second besides pears allowed for exporting from Chile to China. The negotiations concerning cotrus fruit are under way now.

USA: slow start of the season.

The weather caused the season delay in California. According to the traders the slow start was caused by low temperatures recorded. The plum season is not in a high gear, so the stocks are limited. Peaches & nectarines production is less than, usual; the normal harvest is expected later this season. Fruit sizes are also good.

In addition to California the season started in Georgia & South Carolina. Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania & Great Lakes area states will follow them later. The demand looks higher with smaller volumes. Nevertheless prices are similar to those recorded the same period last year. The US market seems to be stable.

Canada: the apricot production almost destroyed.

The Okanagan Valley, in British Columbia is in trouble with stone fruit. The frost has destroyed almost all production of apricots & caused a great damage to nectarines & peaches crop. Anyways the valley is also significant apple & cherry producer & these fruit is going better at the moment.     

Source: 5/31/2019, http://freshplaza.com/