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Fresh cherries the first import under China-Australia FTA

A consignment of 1.2 tons of fresh cherries from Australia formed the first import into China under the China-Australia free trade agreement (FTA), signed last June and coming into effect on December 20, 2015.

The first import consignment under the China-Australia free trade agreement (FTA), signed last June, was granted entry into China on December 21, reports China’s customs agency GACC.

“Shanghai Customs District, by using a green clearance channel, fast released 1.2 tons of fresh cherries from Australia on declaration by Shanghai Esen Agro Products Company.

“It can be expected that Australian share will grow a lot at even more competitive prices on Shanghai fruit market,” said Huang Xianhua, general manager of Shanghai Ouheng Import & Export Co., Ltd. The GACC said the duty reduction thanks to the FTA will aid the expansion in the Chinese market of Australian fruit, given it is “reportedly…higher in quality but more pricey due to higher labour costs.”

According to Shanghai Customs’ statistics, over January–November 2015, 586,000 tons of fruit, worth US$ 880 million, were imported into Shanghai under preferential trade agreements, making for a 21.7% increase in volume and 37.2% in value year-on-year. A total of 10 countries/regions of origin benefited from China’s duty preferences.

With the coming into force of the China-Australia FTA on December 20, “Chinese consumers can enjoy cheaper Australian commodities like beef, mutton, dairy products, wine, lobsters, and fruits,” the GACC said.

“For Chinese exporters, zero-duty HS Codes and trade volume offered by Australia will finally achieve 100%, duty reduction transition to end in 5 years. Thus both Chinese products and exporters can get a lot of opportunities to broaden overseas market.”

source: First Import under China-Australia FTA Clears Customs

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Southern Italy set for 30% rise in cherry volumes

Southern Italy, which accounts for two thirds of national cherry production, is forecast to register a production increase of 30% (especially for early varieties), thanks to ideal weather conditions during fruit set.

Italy’s MY 2015/16 cherry production is preliminarily forecast at 131,200 tons, according to the USDA Global Agricultural Information Service’s (GAIN) latest Italy stone fruit annual.

Southern Italy, which accounts for two thirds of national cherry production, is forecast to register a production increase of 30% (especially for early varieties), thanks to ideal weather conditions during fruit set.

Calibers are forecast to be smaller than 2014 and quality excellent, and good quantity and quality are also expected in Emilia-Romagna, the report says.


Cherry trade in Italy in 2014

Exports: Italy exported 10,419 tons of cherries, mainly to Germany (4,686 tons), last year.
Imports: It imported 10,698 tons of cherries, mainly from Spain (5,105 tons), Turkey (1,937 tons) and Austria (1,053 tons).

Read more here.

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EU set for lower peach, nectarine production this season

A 3.7% drop in EU peach and nectarine production – to 4 million tons – is forecast for 2015/16, while that for cherries is projected at 745,900 tons, remaining flat compared with last season, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

A 3.7% drop in EU peach and nectarine production – to 4 million tons – is forecast for 2015/16, while that for cherries is projected at 745,900 tons, remaining flat compared with last season, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Despite the Russian embargo, EU-28 exports of peaches and nectarines in 2014/15 grew 16%, while those of fresh cherries fell 10%, a new Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report – the EU-28 Stone Fruit Annual – from FAS says.

Peaches and nectarines

The main EU-28 producers of fresh peaches and nectarines are Italy, Spain, Greece and France. The production area is projected to remain stable in MY 2015/16 with 232,778 ha planted.

The 3.7% drop in MY 2015/16 peach and nectarine production for the EU-28 is due to unfavorable weather, with considerable decreases in the main European producers, Spain, Greece and France, while Italian production shows an increase.

In MY 2015/16 fresh consumption of peaches and nectarines is projected to remain flat reaching 2.8 MMT.

The EU’s exports of peaches and nectarines were valued at 390 million USD in MY 2014/15, a 9% decrease despite 16% higher volume from the previous year. Despite the Russian ban, EU- 28 exports increased in MY 2014/15 by reorienting the markets. The 12% decrease of exports to Russia were compensated with an increase of exports to other M.S. and to new markets such as North of Africa as Algeria and Brazil.

The main supplier of peaches to the EU-28 in MY 2014/15 was South Africa. Chile used to be the main supplier of peaches and nectarines to the EU-28 but in MY 2014/15 imports coming from Chile declined 60% resulting with South Africa and Morocco as main suppliers to the EU-28.

Due to lower production forecasts in MY 2015/16 imports may increase.


The main EU-28 producers of fresh cherries are Poland, Italy, and Spain.

Spain is the biggest exporter due to its early season harvest and Italy the number one consumer of fresh cherries.

Total cherry production in MY 2015/16 is projected at 745,900 MT, remaining flat compared with last season, where the important growth in Italy and Greece could compensate the decline that may occur in Spain.

Consumption of fresh cherries in the EU is estimated at 443,023 MT in MY 2015/16, remaining stable.

The EU is a net exporter of cherries but with trade values almost balanced. These are sourced mostly from Turkey, the world’s leading cherry producer. While the main destinations for the major EU producers are other MS, the most important external destinations are Russia, Switzerland and Belarus.

New markets, such as Algeria, are showing important growth for the second year in a row surpassing Ukraine, the report said.

Source: EU-28 Stone Fruit Annual

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The cherry value chain: insights from Greece’s Freskon

Held in Salonika (Thessaloniki), in Greece, in April, Freskon brought together fruit producers and international buyers.

Held last month in Salonika (Thessaloniki), in Greece, Freskon brought together fruit producers and international buyers.

At the international trade show, Mario Njavro, from the University of Zagreb, spoke about managing the value chain in cherries, in particular the activities and services required to bring a product to sale in its final markets. Here are some highlights from his presentation.

Modern agriculture and its challenges

Agribusiness globally is constantly changing. The competition is getting tougher at all levels, globally and domestically, and environmental issues are becoming more important. The market structure has also been altering; retail chains are strengthening and consumer demands, legal and policy issues are constantly changing, too.

Modern horticulture has been on the rise recently. Fresh fruit and vegetable supply chains are estimated to be worth more than €120 billion a year, with approximately 550,000 employees and 1.4 million farm holdings.

Thanks to increased incomes and the transformation of consumer behaviour, high value products happen to be more and more in demand. Farmers should therefore introduce innovations in production and post-harvest technology (packaging, etc.). Small farms are turning into huge commercial enterprises with large holdings of greenhouse, field crops and extensive orchards.

Europe’s top cherry growers

In Europe, the largest producer by far is Turkey, with 84,000 ha of production area for sour cherries and 21,000 ha for sweet cherries. The second largest producer is Poland (32,000 ha of sweet and 46,000 ha of sour cherries). These are followed by Italy, Spain, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria and France. The cherry production area in other European countries covers less than 10,000 ha in each.


Meanwhile, the highest yields are in Romania (108 kg/ha) and the Netherlands (95 kg/ha), while in Turkey and Germany it is 68 kg/ha and in other countries the yield is less than 50 kg/ha.

Fruit sector supply chain in Croatia: farmers’ problems

Coming from Zagreb, Mr Njavro gave an overview of the fruit supply chain in Croatia. “Croatia’s retail sector has experienced extremely rapid growth, among the fastest in the world,” he said. This has involved dramatic changes in the supermarket chains’ procurement systems.

Smaller farmers generally do not meet the requirements of retailers and must sell their produce to supermarkets via wholesalers. At the same time, present and past experience with cooperatives in the fruit sector in Croatia shows organising farmers into cooperatives creates particular problems.

The leading model of vertical coordination between fruit growers and supermarkets in Croatia is restricted to loose, one-year marketing contracts. Farm assistance through structured financing instruments is provided exclusively by dedicated wholesalers (with the exception of one dominant supermarket chain).

Key challenges

For Njavro, the main challenges for cherry producers and fruit farmers are: competitiveness; product development and quality strategy; value redistribution strategy; cost reduction; development of new markets; and investments for market penetration.


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Inaugural Freskon Exhibition & International Cherry Conference this April in Greece

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Accelerating the export penetration of Greek cherries into foreign markets is the goal of the 1st Freskon exhibition, to be held April 23–25.

Organised by TIF-Helexpo in Thessaloniki, the event will also incorporate the International Cherry Conference.

The conference will map the cherry market at the international level as well as cover new technology for cherry cultivation, forecasts for the new season in the main cherry-producing countries, the commercial dynamism of the product and methods-proposals for better marketing.

Subjects to be covered at the conference also include:

  • the management and development of cherry research in Greece: Issues and choices;

  • priorities in research and innovation during the new 2014-2020 programming period for the Agro-nutrition platform;

  • innovation in propagation and varieties of cherry trees’;

  • pruning and crown forming in dense cherry plantations: a physiological approach;

  • cherry value chain management;

  • X-TEND Modified Atmosphere Packaging by StePac for the preservation of cherries;

  • Luna®Ligoteres losses – Increased production (LessWaste – MoreProduce);

  • Integrated pest management solutions in cherry from BayerCropScience;

  • efficient nutrition of cherries; and

  • effect of calcium nutrition on fruit quality.

The conference will feature speakers from all the cherry-producing countries of the Mediterranean and participants in the FRESKON exhibition will come into contact with representatives of major foreign supermarket chains, commercial enterprises and distribution companies-networks.

The exhibition will also host foreign exhibitors who are active in the sector and represent the latest developments concerning fresh fruit, vegetables, logistics, machinery and packaging materials.

Hosted buyers (foreign trade visitors) will be arriving from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, China & Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, England, Lebanon, Belgium, Malta, Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Over 2,400 scheduled appointments between hosted buyers and FRESKON exhibitors have already been set and this number is expected to increase by April.

Also noteworthy are the parallel events to be held in the framework of the exhibition, the most outstanding of which are the International Cherry Conference and the special section on Supermarkets.

At the section on Supermarkets, which will take place with the participation of Greek and Balkan supermarket chains in a specially created area, exhibitors will have the opportunity to attend scheduled meetings to discuss and develop partnerships.

Furthermore, within the framework of parallel events, innovations and new technologies in the sector will be analysed, while the distribution and sale of fresh fruit & vegetables from representatives of foreign supermarket chains in the Balkan market (Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania and FYROM) will be discussed.


Find out more and register:


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