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.