French fruit season gets off to slow start

Tue 24/07/2018 by Richard Wilkinson
france fruit

France’s summer fruit markets are currently experiencing difficulties. The unfavourable weather conditions in spring and early summer have impacted production, both in terms of quantity and quality, and are not conducive to the consumption of seasonal produce. The mixed weather has disrupted the smooth running of the cherry, apricot and peach-nectarine campaigns.

The cherry season started at the end of May. The persistent rains disrupted the harvest of early varieties and weakened the fruit setting. The firm flesh varieties that came next also suffered the adverse weather conditions, forcing some producers to curb picking, resulting in significant losses and sorting costs. Since the beginning of the campaign, sales have remained below the level of 2017 and the five-year average.

The apricot campaign also began at the end of May in difficult conditions. Early varieties were impacted by frost and weather that limited availability. The bad weather conditions did not favour the introduction of the product and its consumption, and the quality of the products was impacted (lack of colour). In this context, demand remained focused on Spanish products. In mid-June, supply slowly shifted to French production as supply continued to expand. At the end of the month, despite an improvement in the quality of products, trade remained slow in the face of hesitant demand.

The 2018 peach-nectarine season started mid-June, two weeks later than the 2017 campaign. Bad weather conditions have had a significant impact on production and supply is in deficit. At the end of June, sales were fluid but supply was below demand. Sales are higher than during the last campaign and above the five-year average.

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