The global peach and nectarine crop is estimated to fall 5% to 21.0 million tons, due to adverse weather conditions in top producers China and the EU, according to USDA/FAS data. The reduced harvest is expected to lower global exports.
After the bumper 2019 crop, the EU’s 2020 harvest is predicted down 15% to 3.5 million tons, due to a variety of damaging weather events in leading producers Spain, Italy, Greece, and France. In addition, a saturated market in recent years has led to reduced planted area in Spain, Italy, and France, with Spain shifting some production towards tree nuts. Exports are forecast down 13% to 155,000 tons. However, imports are only marginally up as domestic supplies can meet most local demand.
In China, heavy snow in April caused damage during fruit set and is expected to the crop by 3% to 14.5 million tons. Exports are projected to plummet 33% to 80,000 tons as Russia continues its ban on imports of fruit from China. Russia was China’s third-largest market until August 2019, when phytosanitary concerns led to a ban. China’s imports are expected forecast up jump 40% to 38,000 tons, with much of the rise due to greater shipments from Chile before COVID-19 disruptions had an impact.
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.
According to Rabobank’s World Potato Map 2019, north-western European potato producers benefited most from the growth in global trade over the past decade. The trade in fresh, seed, and frozen processed potatoes accounted for around 7% of total potato production in 2017, with the rest consumed locally. Despite the small proportion, the international potato trade is starting to grow.
Frozen processed potato trade has increased from around 4 million tons to over 7 million tons in the past ten years, due to rising consumption in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Dutch exports dominate the trade in seed potatoes, with a market share of over 50% of global trade. The four main exporters of frozen processed potato are the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and the US, representing 80% of volumes. Belgium, in particular, has seen its share of global exports rise from 18% in 2007 to 29% in 2017.
As for fresh potatoes, between 2007 and 2017, exports rose by around 2.5% annually. Most of this trade is concentrated in Europe, particularly in imports by the Netherlands and Belgium to feed an expanding processing industry. Elsewhere, China, Pakistan, India, and Egypt are also starting to become major players in the fresh potato market. Between 2007 and 2017, Egypt saw its fresh potato exports almost double to 652,000 tons, while quadrupling its frozen processed potato exports.