W38: Peach & Nectarine Update

In W38 in the peach and nectarine landscape, the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food (MAGA) reports that the country exported the first batch of Salcajá peach variety, grown in western Guatemala, to Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, on September 19. The Salcajá peach shipment totaled 75 quintals, and more are scheduled for export in 2023, coinciding with the peach harvest season. MAGA anticipates Salcajá peach exports to exceed more than 5 thousand quintals, valued at USD 3.5 million in 2024. Furthermore, the export carrier's transparency and adherence to safety measures meet all required standards. MAGA highlighted that the Salcajá peach's firm texture and high sweetness will undoubtedly appeal greatly to the Mexican market.

Peach and nectarine prices in Uzbekistan have consistently risen over the past month, with current wholesale quotes surpassing levels observed in mid-September of the previous years. Remarkably, despite the price surge, Uzbekistan has already exceeded its record peach and nectarine export levels recorded in 2020. Preliminary trade data reveals that Uzbekistan exported 82.5 thousand metric tons (mt) of peach and nectarine fruits, valued at USD 62.7 million from May 21 to September 20. This is a significant increase from the record set in 2020 when Uzbekistan exported 82.2 thousand mt, worth USD 61.3 million.

Wholesale peach and nectarine prices initially remained stable until mid-Jun-23 in Uzbekistan, largely on par with the 2022 quotations, but dipped below 2022 levels from mid-Jul-23 to early Aug-23. However, from the second half of Aug-23, an upward price trend emerged, with prices eventually doubling the 2022 levels by late Aug-23.

Nevertheless, the domestic price surge coincided with a slowdown in Uzbek peach and nectarine exports, with only about 3% of total shipments registered in Aug-23. The average wholesale price for peaches and nectarines in Uzbekistan stood at USD 1.65 per kilogram (kg) as of September 15, a 330% year-on-year (YoY) increase and doubled the levels recorded in 2020. Consequently, with such elevated prices, export activity has dwindled in recent weeks, with minimal shipments reported by Uzbek exporters over the past seven to ten days.

Lastly, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects Turkey’s peach and nectarine production to reach a remarkable 1 million metric tons (mmt) in 2023. While the acreage of peach orchards has remained stable over the last decade, a shift towards quality-oriented cultivation practices and the inclusion of high-quality varieties has resulted in increased fruit production. Growing demand for nectarines has prompted the requalification of some peach orchards. Anticipated high peach and nectarine exports, particularly to Russia, Iraq, and the European Union (EU) countries may lead to a slight reduction in domestic fruit consumption within Turkey. Currently, Turkish stone fruit exports have surged by 11 thousand mt, totaling 215 thousand mt, the fourth consecutive year of growth. Experts foresee Russia’s peach and nectarine imports to steady at around 315 thousand mt, attributed to stable supplies from Turkey. 

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