Report Highlights:

Greece is the third largest producer of peaches in the EU-28, after Italy and Spain. Greece’s MY 2013/14 peach and nectarine production is forecast to drop 32 percent from the previous year, with a 24 percent decrease for peaches, a 29 percent decline for nectarines, and a 37 percent drop for cling peaches. The frost in March, the heavy rainfall occurred in the blooming period, and the hail in June severely affected next year’s productions.

Peaches and Nectarines

PRODUCTION

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 42,600 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 2013/14 peach and nectarine production is forecast to drop 32 percent from the previous year, with a 24 percent decrease for peaches (175,000 MT compared to 230,000 MT in 2012), a 29 percent decline for nectarines (57,000 MT compared to 80,200 MT in 2012), and a 37 percent drop for cling peaches (200,000 MT compared to 395,000 MT in 2012). The frost in March, the heavy rainfall occurred in the blooming period, and the hail in June severely affected next year’s production. The hail struck harder in the prefectures of Imathia and Pella, the leading peach-producing areas.

CONSUMPTION

Greek nectarine production is destined mainly for the fresh market. Freestone peaches are used for fresh consumption, and clingstone peaches are predominantly used in processing (although some are consumed fresh).

TRADE

Greece is an important exporter of fresh (and canned) peaches. In 2012, Greece exported 109,655 MT of peaches and nectarines, mainly to Russia (31,625 MT), Romania (20,852 MT), Ukraine (15,328 MT), and Bulgaria (9,908 MT). In 2012, Greece imported 2,912 MT of fresh peaches and nectarines, mainly from Romania (880 MT), Spain (526 MT), and Italy (496 MT).

Apricots

PRODUCTION

Greece is the third largest apricot producer in the EU-28, after Italy and France. Greek apricots are grown in Crete, Thessaly, and Peloponnesos, located in southern Greece. The apricot harvest begins in June and lasts until July. Tirinthos, Aurora, Bebekou, and the sweet Diamantopoulou are the leading apricot varieties grown in Greece. According to industry estimates, Greece’s MY 2013/14 apricot production is forecast to decline by 23.6 percent. The frost in March and the hail in June severely affected the regions of Argolida, Korinthia, and Chalkidiki in Northern Greece.

CONSUMPTION

Greece’s MY 2013/14 Greek apricot consumption is forecast to drop significantly, driven by the declined production. Most of the apricot production (50–60 percent) goes to the canning industry. Approximately 20 percent is destined for the fresh market, while a small percentage is processed into puree and concentrate. The “Bebekou” variety is predominantly used in processing.

TRADE

Fresh and canned apricots are sold either in the local market or exported to other EU markets. In 2012, Greece exported 17,720 MT of apricots, mainly to Germany (6,394 MT), Romania (2,748 MT) Russia (2,375 MT), and Bulgaria (2,250 MT). In 2102, Greece imported 633 MT of apricots, mainly from Romania (212 MT), Turkey (129 MT), Italy (108 MT), and Spain (102 MT).
Cherries

PRODUCTION

Greece’s MY 2013/14 cherry season is forecast to be satisfactory, thanks to favorable weather during flowering and fruit set. Pella and Imathia are the main producing areas.

CONSUMPTION

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.

TRADE

In 2012, Greece exported 9,890 MT of cherries, mainly to Germany (2,286 MT), the Netherlands (2,244 MT), Russia (2,224 MT), and Bulgaria (1,021 MT). In 2012, Greece imported 201 MT of cherries, mostly from Turkey (137 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