Greece. Stone Fruit. Sep 2014 Oct. 9, 2014
Greece is the third largest producer of peaches in the EU-28, after Italy and Spain. Greece’s MY 2014/15 peach and nectarine production is forecast to surge by 30 percent−after last year's production drop− thanks to favorable weather conditions. As reported by the Greek industry, the Russian food embargo dealt a devastating blow to the country's agricultural economy, leaving approximately 250 truckloads of peaches and nectarines either rotted or sold at knockdown prices to buyers in countries on the way back.
PEACHES AND NECTARINES
Greece is the third largest producer of peaches in the EU-28, after Italy and Spain. Greek farms are typically four to five hectares, much smaller than the average size in either the EU or the United States. According to industry estimates, there are approximately 44,100 hectares currently cultivated for peaches and nectarines. The main producing areas include six territories (Imathia, Pella, Pieria, Kozani, Larissa, and Kilkis) of Central Macedonia and Thessaly, located in northern Greece. The peach production area is located in an active hail belt that stretches from the Iberian Peninsula to northern Greece. Most of the crop is harvested in June and July.
Greece’s MY 2014/15 peach and nectarine production is forecast to surge by 30 percent−after last year's production drop− thanks to favorable weather conditions. Fresh peaches production is forecast to rise 37.7 percent (650,000 MT compared to 472,000 MT in 2013), while nectarines production is forecast to slightly decrease by 4.7 percent (100,000 MT compared to 105,000 MT in 2013). Greece’s MY2014/15 cling peach crop is forecast to go back to MY2012/13 volumes (440,000 MT), thanks to favorable weather conditions.
Greek nectarine production is destined mainly for the fresh market. Freestone peaches are used for fresh consumption, while clingstone varieties are predominantly used in processing.
Greece is an important exporter of fresh peaches. In 2013, Greece exported 157,165 MT of fresh peaches and nectarines, mainly to Russia (46,746 MT), Ukraine (29,061 MT), Romania (18,125 MT), and Bulgaria (11,892 MT). In 2013, Greece imported 1,283 MT of fresh peaches and nectarines, mainly from Bulgaria (377 MT), Spain (248 MT), Germany (219 MT), and Russia (183 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 Greek industry, the Russian food embargo dealt a devastating blow to the country's agricultural economy, leaving approximately 250 truckloads of peaches and nectarines either rotted or sold at knockdown prices to buyers in countries on the way back. Incofruit-Hellas, the Greek fruit export association, says it is now seriously worried that oversupply will end up hitting the entire fresh produce market at a time when Greece desperately needs the money.
OTHER STONE FRUITS
Greece’s MY 2014/15 cherry season is forecast to stay flat. Pella and Imathia are the main producing areas.
Production, Supply and Demand (MT) Cherries
Greek cherries production is mainly destined for the fresh market, with a small percentage processed into jams, spoon sweets, and the Vissinada, a traditional sour cherry concentrate mixed with iced water.
In 2013, Greece exported 10,751 MT of cherries, mainly to Russia (2,875 MT), Bulgaria (1,841 MT), the Netherlands (1,351 MT), and Germany (1,044 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