In W36 in the cherry landscape, the 2023/24 European Union (EU) cherry production is estimated at 657,435. Unfavorable growing conditions in key Member States are contributing to the decline in cherry yields. As a result, cherry consumption in the EU is expected to decline due to a supply shortage. According to Freshfel Europe, fruit consumption faced downward pressure due to the economic crisis and high inflation resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war. The situation led to a reduction in consumers' purchasing power. This combination of factors led to a challenging market environment for cherries and other fruits in the EU, potentially impacting regional consumption levels. In 2023/24, cherry imports into the EU may increase due to the decline in production.
The German authorities, in collaboration with the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), issued a consumer alert concerning cherries imported from Turkey in W36 due to the detection of elevated levels of three pesticides. During an official market control conducted on July 19, cherries from Turkey were found to contain excessive amounts of the pesticides - Chlorpyrifos, Dimethoate, and Omethoate - all of which exceeded their maximum residue limits (MRLs). Specifically, Chlorpyrifos was detected at 0.029 +/- 0.015 milligram per kilogram (mg/kg) – parts per million (ppm), surpassing its MRL of 0.01 mg/kg – ppm. Dimethoate was present at 0.16 +/- 0.08 mg/kg – ppm, and Omethoate at 0.069 +/- 0.035 mg/kg – ppm, both surpassing their MRLs set at 0.01 mg/kg – ppm.
Lastly, the Turkish cherry harvest is estimated at 900 thousand metric tons (mt) in the 2023/24 season, an increase of 8% year-on-year (YoY). This growth can be attributed to favorable weather conditions and soil quality. Turkey’s cherry exports reached 75 thousand mt as of early Aug-23. This indicates a strong start to the 2023/24 season and is on track to surpass the 2022/23 export volumes.