Report Highlights:

Italy is the largest peach and nectarine producer in the EU-28 and ranks second in the world after China. Italy’s MY2014/15 peach and nectarine production is preliminarily forecast to stay flat. Italy is a major peach and nectarine exporter, mainly within the EU-28. In 2013, Italy exported 370,427 MT of peaches and nectarines, mostly to Germany (149,315 MT).

PEACHES AND NECTARINES

PRODUCTION 

Italy is the largest peach and nectarine producer in the EU-28 and ranks second in the world after China. Stone fruit production plays a key role in the agricultural sector of several Italian regions, both in the North (especially in Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont) and in the South (Campania). The bulk of the Italian harvest occurs in June and July. Italy’s MY2014/15 peach and nectarine production is preliminarily forecast to stay flat. Peach production is preliminarily forecast at 606,542 MT (605,908 MT in MY2013/14), while nectarine production is preliminarily forecast at 821,128 MT (798,572 MT in MY2013/14). The cling peach harvest is likely to stay flat at 77,427 MT (79,098 MT in MY2013/14). Fruit quality is forecast to be good. 

Experts forecast a continuation in the downward trend in peach and nectarine acreage, which has fallen 20 percent from 2000 to 2010, but also expect that the phasing out of old cultivars and the phasing in of better performing ones in new plantations will result in volumes declining at slower rate than acreage.

CONSUMPTION 

The majority of the Italian peaches and nectarines are consumed fresh. Italian consumers generally prefer large, sweet, and pulpy fruits, while the North European markets prefer smaller, slightly sour, and crunchy fruits. Apart from the difficult economic situation and the industry’s concern for the increasing complexity of the destination markets, the crucial target is to encourage consumption for a product that is the main summer fruit. 

TRADE 

Italy is a major peach and nectarine exporter, mainly within the EU-28. In 2013, Italy exported 370,427 MT of peaches and nectarines, mostly to Germany (149,315 MT). In 2013, Italy imported 59,862 MT of peaches and nectarines, mainly from Spain (48,979 MT), France (6,246 MT), and Germany (2,777 MT). 

On August 7, 2014, Russia issued a decree banning certain food products from the EU-28 Member States, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Norway. The ban came into force immediately and is expected to be in place for one year. The list of banned agricultural products is extensive and includes fruits, vegetables, beef, fish, poultry, pork, dairy products, nuts, prepared meats, and certain prepared products. 

As reported by the CSO on September 4, 2014, the Russian ban has made the Italian industry consider the opportunity of new destinations for Italian produce. For peaches and nectarines, new potential markets could be represented by North Africa, Middle East, and Northern Europe. 

OTHER STONE FRUITS 

CHERRIES

Production, Supply, and Demand (MT)

Cherries

Estimates

2012/2013

Estimates

2013/2014

Forecast

2014/2015

Area Planted

29,736

29,202

29,202

Area Harvested

28,484

28,467

28,467

Production

103,584

135,302

105,000

Imports

7,187

9,115

9,200

Total Supply

110,771

144,417

114,200

Exports

9,953

10,114

10,000

Fresh Dom. Consumption

95,639

127,538

99,018

For Processing

5,179

6,765

5,182

Losses & Withdraws

0

0

0

Total Distribution

110,771

144,417

114,200

PRODUCTION 

Italy’s MY2014/15 cherries production is preliminarily forecast at 105,000 MT. Southern Italy, which accounts for two thirds of the national cherry production, has registered a production drop of 50 percent, because of severe hailstorms during the harvest. On the contrary, Northern Italy’s cherry crop has benefitted from the early start of the campaign that is still in progress. Turi (Apulia), Vignola (Emilia-Romagna), Verona (Veneto), and Cuneo (Piedmont) are the main cherry producing areas. 

TRADE 

In 2013, Italy exported 10,114 MT of cherries, mainly to Germany (4,020 MT). In 2013, Italy imported 9,115 MT of cherries, mainly from Spain (3,716 MT), Turkey (2,840 MT), and Germany (1,010 MT). 

Abbreviations and definitions used in this report: 

MY Marketing year: June/May 

Peaches/nectarines: HS Code 080930 

Cherries: HS Code 080920 

MT Metric ton = 1,000 kg 

Ha Hectare; 1 ha = 2.471 acres