The world’s 2020 cherry production is expected to forecast to rise 1.5% to 3.9 million tons, due to a rise in outpUS as the second largest exporter. Exports are further boosted by Turkey gaining market access to Chinut in Turkey, Chile, and China, which more than offset losses in the EU and US, according to USDA/FAS data. Increased supplies are expected to increase exports slightly to 503,000 tons, especially from Chile and Turkey.
EU production is expected to slip 4.7% to 703,000 due to spring frosts and heavy rains. Fruit quality is expected to be good, and exports are predicted to remain nearly unchanged at 8,000 tons. Imports are expected to rise 13% to 60,000 tons, especially from Turkey.
Turkey’s cherry crop is estimated up 8% to 918,000 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions. This is the sixth consecutive year of growth, fuelled by producers transitioning to high density plantings of high-yield varieties. Turkey’s exports of 90,000 tons (especially to the EU and Russia), mean that it overtakes the a and South Korea in 2019.
China’s production is forecast up 7% to 450,000 tons, continuing the recent growth trend. Imports are expected to drop 4% to 220,000 tons, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US crop is estimated to fall 9.5% to 383,000, due to severe frosts in Washington more than offsetting gains in California and Oregon. The smaller crop is expected to reduce exports 17% to 70,000 tons. Imports are up slightly to 12,000 tons, mainly from Chile.
Turkey expects an 8.5% rise in its cherry production in 2020/21 compared to the previous year, with the total volume estimated at 918,000 tons, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkSTAT). Of this total, 732,000 tons are sweet cherries and 186,000 tons are sour cherries. Turkey has recently established modern high-density orchards, using new cultivars, rootstocks, training systems, and growing techniques. Total cherry planting area is expected to remain at about 106,000 hectares, of which about 84,000 ha is for sweet cherries, similar to last year. The total estimated number of all cherry trees was about 34.3 million in 2019. The total number of bearing trees for sweet cherries increased from 14.7 million to 21.1 million in ten years. However, sour cherry production area has decreased during the same period from seven million in 2010 to six million in 2019. The increase in production of better-quality cherries to meet the specifications of export markets also helps to increase the quality of cherries for the domestic market.
There are more than one hundred varieties of sweet cherries produced in Turkey. The 0900 Ziraat variety, also known as a Turkish Napoleon, was developed in Turkey and is the most popular variety in the country because its higher quality can serve export markets. However, producers have started to try new cherry varieties such as Sweet Heart, Celeste, Early Lory, Kordia, Regina, Sam, and Sunburst for higher quality products, later harvest (to capture higher prices later in the season) and higher yields.
Turkey aims to improve its exports of fresh sweet cherries to China
New Zealand’s 2019/20 apple crop is projected to increase by 2.8% to 593,000 tons (source: FAS/Wellington), due to an expanded harvested area and a good growing season, despite the impact of COVID-19 on harvesting and packing. The larger crop is set to boost the country’s apple exports for 2019/2020, which are forecast to hit a record 400,000 tons, up 2.3% on 2018/2019. This continues a promising trend, as apple exports in 2018/2019 rose 5.8% from 2017/2018.
This season, the volume of apples to be processed is expected to rise 5.7% to 119,400 tons due to the larger crop, as well as expectations for a reduced proportion of the crop being export-quality. Domestic consumption of apples is expected to be up 0.6% to 74,000 tons.
Meanwhile, pear production was up 4.5% to 13,150 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions. Pear exports are forecast to remain unchanged at 4,000 tons.
South Africa’s 2019/20 apple crop is projected to climb 5% to 942,200 tons (source: USDA). This growth is due to the increase in planted are, yields and available irrigation water. The impact of COVID-19 on this year’s crop is expected to be minimal as South Africa has already harvested most of its fruit and full operations continued during the national lock-down.
Despite the larger crop, exports are expected to decrease by 2% to 480,000 tons. This is mainly due to the impact of COVID-19, which has resulted in depressed demand in global markets, interruptions in the supply chain, with bottlenecks or closures at some ports, limited availability of containers, constrained shipping capacity and the slow pace of exports to date.
The United Kingdom is the largest single country market for South African apple exports accounting for 13% of the total in 2019, followed by Nigeria (9%), Malaysia (8%), Bangladesh (8%), Zambia (7%), Kenya (4%) and Senegal (4%). Africa is the largest regional market, accounting for 46% of total South African apple exports in 2018/19, followed by Asia (25%), and the EU (19%).
South Africa has a free trade agreement with the EU. The impact of Brexit on South African apple exports is expected to be minimal as South Africa continues to undertake extensive marketing of its apples in the United Kingdom, and the two governments are in the process of finalising trade arrangements post-Brexit.
The EU’s tomato crop is expected to be up 4% in 2019, at around 16.8 million tons, according to data published by the European Commission. This is still 2% below the 5-year average. The main drivers are the increase in production of tomatoes for processing (+6%). The volume of tomatoes for fresh consumption is estimated to rise by 1%. Spain registered a strong tomato harvest (+14%), thanks to very favourable weather conditions.
After several years of rising fresh tomato imports to the EU, this year’s volumes are set to remain flat. However, imports of processed tomatoes are expected to be up 11% in 2019. The main sources are China, Chile and Ukraine. Meanwhile, EU exports of processed tomatoes are up 33% in 2019 (+43% compared to average), with the main markets being in Africa (Libya, Sudan, and South Africa).
After a positive 2016 campaign for EU peach and nectarine producers, 2017 was somewhat more complicated. The 2018 campaign saw a smaller crop due to frost damage in many areas of Europe. However, the pattern was not uniform across the EU. Despite the lower volumes of Italian and Spanish production, prices remained relatively low, although not as low as in 2017. Nevertheless, they were often below production cost. By contrast, French production was more successful on the market, commanding higher prices. This difference in price between French and Spanish production has been a phenomenon of the past three years now, and is no doubt the result of the efforts made by the French industry to develop the quality of its products, service, promotion, and collective actions such as environmentally responsible orchards. It is also the effect of the popularity of “Made in France” products in general, which makes the French more confident in domestic production than in foreign imports.