2024 Spanish Peach and Nectarine Harvest Returning to Normal

Published Jun 12, 2024
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A significant producer of peaches and nectarines in Europe, Spain’s production is predicted to recover to normal levels in 2024, with 1.2 mmt, 14% more than the five-year average. Despite climate obstacles, Spain's peach and nectarine harvest in 2023 increased by 40% YoY) from 2022, when severe weather reduced production to 715,000 mt. Nevertheless, production is predicted to grow by roughly 1% YoY in 2024 due to favorable weather conditions. The EU remains the primary market for Spanish peaches and nectarines, with Germany, France, Italy, and the UK as top destinations. Export volumes are expected to increase by around 7% YoY in 2024, boosted by solid demand in European markets. The Spanish peach and nectarine sector is positioned for a great year in 2024, with production expected to exceed last year's levels while prices remain stable.

Despite climate challenges in the last couple of years, the Spanish peach and nectarine harvest in 2024 is expected to return to normal levels, reaching 1.2 million metric tons (mmt), marginally higher than last year, yet 14% more than the five-year average. Spain is a major producer of peaches and nectarines in Europe, with central growing regions including Catalonia, Aragon, and Murcia. In 2023, the country encountered climate-related issues, including late frosts and extended droughts. However, 2023 marked an astonishing recovery of a 40% year-on-year (YoY) increase from 2022, which proved to be one of the worst years recorded recently in Spain, with adverse weather lowering the production of fresh peach and nectarine to just 715,000 metric tons (mt).

In 2024, peach and nectarine production in Spain is expected to increase by about 1% YoY over the previous year. This increase is due to good weather conditions throughout the critical flowering and fruit-setting times, as well as enhanced watering practices. Precision agriculture technologies have also helped to optimize resource use and crop production.

Figure 1: Export volume of fresh peach and nectarine from Spain 2019-2023

Source: Tridge, TradeMap

The European Union (EU) remains the key market for Spanish peaches and nectarines, with Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom (UK) leading destinations. As mentioned earlier, 2023 marked a substantial recovery, with all markets except France recording an increase in YoY export volume. Fresh peach and nectarine exports to Germany in 2023 reached 210,852 mt, with a 22.03% YoY jump. Trading volume to Italy soared 55.04% YoY to 79,849 mt in 2023, while the Netherlands almost matched YoY growth with a 49.98% increase.

Improved domestic production can explain France's lower exports.. At the same time, the opposite applies to Italy, which had similar production difficulties as Spain and was forced to increase the volumes of fresh peach and nectarine coming from Spain in 2023.

Export volumes are predicted to rise by approximately 7% in 2024 as production increases. Strong demand in European markets and the expansion of trade agreements with non-EU countries will aid this development.

Figure 2: Tridge Price Indices and Forecasts for Fresh Peach in Spain

Tridge Price Indices

Source: Tridge

Peach and nectarine price dynamics are impacted by a variety of factors, including production levels, market demand, and weather conditions. Prices in 2023 were relatively high due to a reduction in supply induced by bad weather conditions. This trend continued at the beginning of 2024, driven by limited supply. However, the predicted rise in production in May-24 will likely put downward pressure on pricing.

Despite the prospect of decreased prices, the overall market picture remains good. Increased production will help stabilize supply, giving consumers access to high-quality fruit at competitive costs. Furthermore, diversification of export markets could provide other revenue streams for Spanish growers, helping to offset any potential price drops in the home market.

In conclusion, the Spanish peach and nectarine industry is poised for a successful year in 2024, with production likely to exceed last year's levels despite persistent climate concerns. As export volumes grow and prices stabilize, the sector is well-positioned to capitalize on new market prospects while maintaining its position as the world's leading producer of peaches and nectarines.

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