With organic demand rising across the world, markets are changing as large-scale retailers push for greater market share and seek to outdo one another to establish their green credentials.
Organic food sales surpass $100 billion
Spanish fruit and vegetable exports drop in 2018
Spain’s exports of fresh fruits and vegetables in the first seven months of 2018 totalled €8.2 billion, matching the 2017 figure for the same period of 2017. Volumes fell by 1% to 4.2 million tons, according to data published by Spain’s General Directorate of Customs.
Large European Conference crop in 2018
Europe’s 2018 Conference pear crop is 9% above the three-year average (2015-2017), thanks to growth in all of the three main producing countries: the Netherlands (+13%), Belgium (+7%) and France (+7%). The French crop has smaller calibres than previous years due to the hot weather, which precipitated collection. Domestic production is under threat from the large Belgian and Dutch crops, putting pressure on prices, despite locals preferring French products.
Contrasting fortunes for EU peach and nectarine producers
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.
Hard times for EU apricot sector
The 2018 apricot campaign in the EU was affected by adverse weather conditions, which reduced the yield. Nevertheless, the crop reached 566,000 tons, which is 6% above the 2013-17 average but 17% smaller than the 2017 crop, which was an exceptional year in terms of production. The losses were not uniform across the continent. France and Italy suffered the greatest losses, while Greece and Spain registered production levels close to of their potential. The strong Spanish production saw large volumes from the outset of the campaign in May.
World blueberry market expands 24% in 2018
The world’s appetite for the sweet superfood shows no signs of abating, with markets across the world expanding. Production struggles to keep pace with demand, prompting increased shipments from all corners of the globe throughout the year. Peru may soon overtake Chile as the world’s leading blueberry exporter. US consumers are particularly hungry for blueberries.
French consumption of fresh produce falls while expenditure rises
The average amount spent by French households on fruit and vegetables increased by 0.9%, from €407.5 to €411.3 between 2017 and 2018. This increase is due to the average price rise of 4.6% for the 4th consecutive year, according to the Kantar report published by FranceAgriMer. By contrast, the average quantity purchased over a year has decreased from 168.3kg to 162.4kg. The price rises concern fruit the most (+5.1%), from €2.42 to €2.55/kg. "This increase is most noticeable in metropolitan areas, where average purchase prices have risen 10.4% year on year," according to the report.
EU turns to Egypt for citrus imports
While Spain remains the EU’s leading citrus producer, the Iberian country’s production fell from just under 7 million tons in 2006 to just over 5 million tons in 2017. The continent’s next leading producer, Italy, also saw its citrus production fall over the same period, from around 3.8 million tons to 2.6 million tons. Greece and Portugal have seen their productions remain fairly steady.
Spain’s exports of fruit and vegetables totalled €12.7 billion in 2018
Spain’s F&V exports fell 0.2% in 2018 to €12.7 billion, according to data published by the Sectorial Observatory DBK. Fruit exports increased by 0.1%, representing 59% of the total value, with €7.56 billion, while foreign sales of vegetables decreased by 0.8%, and accounted for 41% of the value (€5.16 billion).