Bulgaria recorded a 20% increase in its stone fruit production in 2017-18. Good growing conditions and increased production area led to sweet cherry output climbing 18%, tart cherry volumes rising 23% and peach production increasing by 11%, according to USDA data. Better fruit quality led to increased consumption of fresh products and higher exports. Stone fruits are Bulgaria’s largest fruit category, representing 40% of the country’s total fruit production .
EU funds have allowed Bulgaria’s stone fruit production area to increase in recent years. Sweet cherries accounted for 24% of the country’s total fruit production area. Due to the favourable weather conditions, there were high cherry and peach yields. Bulgarian cherries are the country’s main processed fruit. Indeed, in 2017/18, sweet cherries accounted for 30% of the total volumes of processed fruits, followed by apples (19%), peaches (18%), and tart cherries (3%). Processed cherry volumes were up 8%. While most imported cherries were for fresh consumption, about 67% of the processed products were exported within the EU.