Report Highlights:

Italy is the largest peach and nectarine producer in the EU-28 and ranks second in the world after China. Italy’s MY 2013/14 peach and nectarine production is forecast to decline by 6.3 percent from the previous year, with a 5.7 percent decrease for peaches and a 5.8 percent decline for nectarines, mostly due to a long, cold, and rainy spring. The cling peach harvest is likely to drop 13 percent to 81,000 MT. Italy is the largest apricot producer in the EU-28, followed by France, Greece, and Spain. Italy’s MY 2013/14 apricot production is forecast to decline by 36.5 percent compared to the previous year, due to the heavy rains occurred during the blooming period.

I. 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 MY 2013/14 peach and nectarine production is forecast to decline by 6.3 percent from the previous year, with a 5.7 percent decrease for peaches (621,000 MT compared to 658,900 MT in 2012) and a 5.8 percent decline for nectarines (820,000 MT compared to 870,900 MT in 2012), mostly due to a long, cold, and rainy spring. The cling peach harvest is likely to drop 13 percent to 81,000 MT (94,100 MT in 2012). Major reductions are registered in Veneto region, where the peaches and nectarines’ crop is expected to go down by 20 and 24 percent, respectively. Peach and nectarines’ production is also forecast to decrease in Emilia-Romagna by 6 and 9 percent, respectively.

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

MY 2013/14 Italian peach and nectarine consumption is forecast to decrease by 7.4 percent, driven by the reduced production. 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 2012, Italy exported 348,677 MT of peaches and nectarines, mostly to Germany (138,425 MT). In 2012, Italy imported 67,728 MT of peaches and nectarines, mainly from Spain (55,026 MT), France (8,175 MT), and Germany (2,535 MT).

II. OTHER STONE FRUITS 

CHERRIES

PRODUCTION

Italy’s MY 2013/14 cherry production is forecast to decrease by 7 percent mostly due to a long, cold, and rainy spring. Turi (Apulia), Vignola (Emilia-Romagna), Verona (Veneto), and Cuneo (Piedmont) are the main cherry producing areas.

CONSUMPTION

Italy’s MY 2013/14 cherry consumption is forecast to decrease by 6.4 percent, driven by the reduced production.

TRADE

In 2012, Italy exported 9,953 MT of cherries, mainly to Germany (6,633 MT). In 2012, Italy imported 7,187 MT of cherries, mainly from Spain (2,726 MT), Turkey (2,084 MT), and Germany (997 MT).

APRICOTS

PRODUCTION

Italy is the largest apricot producer in the EU-28, followed by France, Greece, and Spain. Italian apricots are mostly grown in Southern Italy and in the northern district of Emilia-Romagna. The apricot harvest begins in June and lasts until July. According to industry estimates, Italy’s MY 2013/14 apricot production is forecast to decline by 36.5 percent compared to the previous year, due to the heavy rains occurred during the blooming period. Italian apricot area is gradually increasing due to higher profitability compared to other fruit, such as peaches and nectarines.

CONSUMPTION

Italian apricots are generally destined for fresh consumption. Approximately 38 percent of apricot production goes to industry to be processed into puree and concentrate.

TRADE

In 2012, Italy imported 22,938 MT of apricots, mainly from France (16,779 MT) and Spain (4,367 MT). In 2012, Italy exported 20,785 MT of apricots, mainly to Germany (8,385 MT) and Austria (4,538 MT). Further destinations include Slovenia (1,109 MT), Czech Republic (989 MT), Poland (941 MT), Hungary (601 MT), and Romania (445 MT).

Abbreviations and definitions used in this report:

MY Marketing year: June/May
Peaches/nectarines: HS Code 080930
Apricots: HS Code 080910
Cherries: HS Code 080920
MT Metric ton = 1,000 kg
Ha Hectare; 1 ha = 2.471 acres