W36: Peach & Nectarine Update

In W36 in the peach and nectarine landscape, European Union (EU) peach and nectarine production is projected to reach 3.6 million metric tons (mmt) in the 2023/24 season. Better Spanish peach and nectarine yields are expected to offset the dismal performance in Italy. The EU is self-sufficient in peaches and nectarines, which are usually consumed fresh. In 2023/24, consumption of peaches and nectarines in the EU is expected to increase due to increased supply. However, stone fruit consumption within the EU is under downward pressure due to high inflation caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, which has reduced purchasing power.

Experts note that there is a significant intra-EU trade in stone fruit. This dynamic positions the EU as a net peach and nectarine exporter, with Spain being the primary source. However, the EU's trade balance for these fruits is gradually declining, primarily due to increased imports, notably from Turkey. The expected high harvest in Spain for the 2023/24 season is anticipated to boost EU exports once again, potentially influencing the trade balance positively.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects Chile's 2023/24 peach and nectarine harvest to reach 162.5 thousand metric tons (mt), a modest 1.6% year-on-year (YoY) increase. This positive projection is supported by ample winter rains and increased reservoir storage in key regions. The planting area for these fruits is forecasted to slightly expand by 0.3% YoY to 8.5 thousand hectares (ha). However, due to the declining profitability of fresh peaches, growers are increasingly favoring nectarines and cherries. This has led to a continuous decrease in peach hectarage to 1.85 thousand ha, while nectarine cultivation increased to 6.62 thousand ha in the 2022/23 season. Chile’s peach and nectarine exports were primarily destined for China at 34.66 thousand mt in 2022/23.

Lastly, the Turkish peach and nectarine harvests are estimated at 1 mmt in the 2023/24 season, similar to the 2022/23 production. The stable production can be attributed to favorable weather conditions, including no frost damage and adequate rainfall. Anticipated high peach and nectarine yields are expected to lead to an increase in stone fruit exports during this period. Turkey maintains its position among the world's top ten peach and nectarine exporters, with significant cultivation hubs in provinces such as Bursa, Canakkale, Izmir, and Mersin. 

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