China’s peach and nectarine production is forecast to climb 5% to 16.8 million tons due to favourable growing conditions. Exports are expected to regain lost ground from 2021/22 with the resumption of market access to Russia. Traders also report that fruit quality of early varieties of peaches is better than last season. China’s peach production is expected to remain stable or slightly increase in the next few years with better yields, despite slowly declining planted area.
Unfavourable market returns are the main reason behind the acreage declines. Although some farmers are adopting new farming technology, such as greenhouses, to extend the supply season, or are shifting to market-favoured varieties, the overall supply of peaches and nectarines exceeds the demand, especially during the peak harvest months. In addition, some farmers are replacing their peach/nectarine plantings with more profitable crops, like cherries. According to sources, this transition is slow because of labour shortages and limited funding.
Meanwhile, China’s 2022/23 cherry crop is projected to total 650,000 tons in 2022/23, thanks to expanded area in the northwest and southwest of the country.