According to estimates by the Catalan fruit business association, Afrucat, as well as the Agriculture and Livestock general management of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and the Natural Environment (DAMM in Catalan), an overall increase of 9% is expected in Catalan stone fruit production, reaching 415,000 tonnes.
By groups, round peach will drop by 2% (109,600 t), flat peach will be up 37% (103,550 t), nectarines will increase by 6% (178,700 t) and Pavia (yellow peach) will fall by 5% (22,600 t). So, Catalonia continues to specialize in flat peaches and nectarines. This overall increase is due to growth of 9% in the area cultivated and the absence of any significant frost. The plantation conversion plan has contributed to this increase in production area for peaches and nectarines in Lleida and Tarragona. Lleida accounts for 89% of the volume in this province. The flat peach will overtake the round peach for the first time.
Slight decrease in intra-EU stone fruit imports between 2012 and 2013. Nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots and cherries, in that order, added up to a million and a half tons in 2013, in import flows among EU-28 countries. In total, imports for 2013 were 0.2 % lower than last year, but represented a turnover of 1,871,365,564 euros, almost 150 million more than in 2012.
By varieties, peach saw a notable increase, with EU-28 imports in 2013 approaching 4% more, reaching almost 447,000 tons, 17 thousand more than 2012. In turn, nectarine volumes fell by 1,7%, reaching 625 thousand t in 2013, 9 thousand less than in 2012. But if we are talking about negative figures, plum imports were outstanding: 10% fewer intra-EU imports of this fruit in 2013, in other words, 21,500 t less than in 2012. Similarly, apricots underwent a 4% decline in imports among EU countries. Cherries were the exception, as numbers rose by almost 5.5 % in 2013 over the previous year.
By destinations, a large part of these imports went to Germany, with 444 thousand t in 2013, illustrating an upward trend for 2011-2013, the majority from Spain, with 174,000 t in 2013, as well as 150,000 t from Italy the same year. Among destinations, Portugal and Italy took in 27% more imports in 2013 compared to 2012, which had seen a considerable drop, especially in Italy, and to a lesser extent in Portugal.