The first estimates for the 2019 Spanish peach and nectarine are in and so far so good. Normal fruit volumes are expected with no loss due to frost damage. The good weather from the beginning of the season has led to good flower set. Production levels are expected to be similar to those of 2018. The total size of the crop for all peach and nectarine varieties is expected to reach 1.58 million tons, up slightly from the 2018 level of 1.49 million tons.
A promising outlook for Spain’s peach and nectarine campaign
HaciendasBio sends abroad a 90% of the stone fruits
The total production of this Spanish company is splited among the European Union. 50% is sent to Germany, 10% remains in Spain and the rest is distributed among other European countries such as Switzerland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and the United Kingdom.
HaciendasBio is the only European producer with 20 consecutive harvesting weeks from its own farms.
Abysmal state of market for Valencia’s stone fruit
Valencia’s stone fruit producers are gloomy about the prospects for the season ahead. Demand for the fruit is very low among European major retail chains, according to AVA-ASAJA. This is causing a “real collapse” at the outset of the new campaign and is greatly concerning growers who are unable to find outlets for their fruit at prices that would at least allow them to meet production costs. This is the point of the season when prices should be at their highest. This year’s fruit quality is said to be of excellent quality due to the good number of cold hours.
14% increase in Spanish stone fruit crop
A bumper harvest is expected for Spain’s stone fruit, which is set to total 1.43 million tons in 2019 – a rise of 14% from last season in peaches. This represents a return to 2017 levels. However, 2017 also saw very low production prices, which led to the implementation of a "Plan for the improvement of the stone fruit sector" by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture. Latest estimates indicate a rise of 23.3% for peaches (1 million tons), a 2.8% rise for plums (152,000 tons) and a 2% rise for apricots (170,000 tons). Meanwhile, a 3% drop is expected for cherries (106,000 tons).
Hard times for EU apricot sector
The 2018 apricot campaign in the EU was affected by adverse weather conditions, which reduced the yield. Nevertheless, the crop reached 566,000 tons, which is 6% above the 2013-17 average but 17% smaller than the 2017 crop, which was an exceptional year in terms of production. The losses were not uniform across the continent. France and Italy suffered the greatest losses, while Greece and Spain registered production levels close to of their potential. The strong Spanish production saw large volumes from the outset of the campaign in May.
HaciendasBio brings forward stone fruit campaign with a new La Falamosa estate in Seville
Chilean Stone Fruits Month gets underway in China
Chilean stone fruits will be the subject of a new promotional campaign in Chinese stores throughout March. The event, now in its second year, is organised by the Chilean Stone Fruit Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), with the support of ProChile Shanghai. The “Chilean Stone Fruits Month” launch ceremony was held in Shanghai on March 1st at the 606 Huanghua Road outlet of QuickMart. The event began with speeches by Juan Jose Wood, trade commissioner of Chile in Shanghai for ProChile and Charif Christian Carvajal, director of marketing for Europe and Asia at ASOEX.
Catalonia to reduce stone fruit area by 10%
Catalonia is to cut its peach and nectarine production by 10% to prop up market prices, which have suffered since the closure of the Russian market in 2014. The region’s Department of Agriculture plans to eliminate 2,000 hectares, according to Fepex. The measure will also include a subsidy of €5,000 per hectare, with a maximum of three hectares per applicant and with the commitment by the producer not to replant peach, nectarine, flat or saturn peach for the next four years.
Imported Chilean stonefruit recalled in US due to listeria fears
Stonefruits produced in Chile have been recalled by retailers across the US due to the possibility of listeria contamination. Fresh peaches, nectarines and plums sold at a six major retailers in 18 states are affected. The Food and Drug Administration said the recall from the Yonkers wholesaler includes 1,727 cartons of peaches, 1,207 cartons of nectarines and 365 cartons of plums. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recall, which occurred following a routine sampling by a packing house that found some products contained listeria monocytogenes.
EU peach and nectarine producers face competition from other summer fruits
A reduction in the EU’s production area of peach and nectarine has led to a dip in EU production. Demand for peaches and nectarines is expected to fall slightly in 2018 due to competition from other summer fruits. Combined EU production of the two fruits reached 4.1 million tons (85% fresh and 15% processed). The main four production areas were Spain, Italy, Greece and France, accounting for a combined 96% of EU production. Greece and Spain are the largest producers of peaches and nectarines for processing.