Stone Fruit Annual 2012

An Expert's View about Pome Fruits (such as apples or pears) and Stone Fruits (such as peaches, cherries, etc.) in Italy

Posted on: 10 Nov 2012

Italy is the largest peach and nectarine producer in the EU-27 and ranks second in the world after China.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 9/5/2012 GAIN Report Number: IT1230 Italy Post: Rome Stone Fruit Annual 2012 Report Categories: Stone Fruit Approved By: Christine Sloop Prepared By: Ornella Bettini Report Highlights: Italy is the largest peach and nectarine producer in the EU-27 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). Italy is the largest apricot producer in the EU-27, followed by France, Greece, and Spain. I. PEACHES AND NECTARINES Table 1: Production, Supply, and Demand (MT) 2010 2011 2012 Estimates Estimates Forecast Peaches & Nectarines 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 90,259 88,580 63,761 Area Harvested 83,899 82,469 59,445 Production 1,572,310 1,598,230 1,597,210 Imports 65,707 74,400 74,450 Total Supply 1,638,017 1,672,630 1,671,660 Exports 360,105 349,300 349,250 Fresh Dom. Consumption 1,181,232 1,233,550 1,230,080 For Processing 96,680 89,780 92,330 Losses & Withdraws 0 0 0 Total Distribution 1,638,017 1,672,630 1,671,660 Source: Istat; Italy Fresh Produce Service Centre (CSO); GTA PRODUCTION As reported by Italy’s Fresh Produce Service Centre (CSO), MY 2012 Italian peach and nectarine production is forecast to be steady from the previous year, with a 1 percent increase for peaches and 1 percent decline for nectarines. Quality is very good, thanks mainly to the prolonged springtime and the good sun exposure during the period March/April, when the fruit was growing. MY 2012 Italian peach and nectarine production is forecast to be satisfactory especially in Southern Italy that is registering a quite good commercial performance, in terms of both quantity and quality. On the contrary, Northern Italy’s crop is expected to go down compared to MY 2011, with 5 and 4 percent less for peaches and nectarines respectively. MY 2012 Italian peach and nectarine production for fresh consumption is forecast at 703,470 MT and 801,410 respectively, while the cling peach harvest is likely to increase by 3 percent to 92,330 MT. Experts forecast a continuation in the downward trend in peach and nectarine acreage, which has fallen 18 percent over the last decade, 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. During MY 2011, growers were beset by bad weather that delayed picking of the early-season varieties and led to a supply bottleneck that depressed prices. The earliness and outstanding quality of the peaches from the Metaponto area (Basilicata) come from the introduction of new cultivars and innovative cultivation techniques allowing for early harvest even with the unfavorable weather conditions experienced this year. The use of tunnels and new extra early varieties suited to the cold proved important in obtaining high quality peaches and nectarines in late spring. CONSUMPTION MY 2012 Italian peach and nectarine consumption is forecast to remain steady. Most 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-27. MY 2011 exports of peaches and nectarines reached a value of $383 million. Germany continues to be the main destination for Italian peach and nectarine exports. Spain is the main peach and nectarine supplier to the Italian market. Indeed, thanks to an earlier harvesting period, Spain dominates the European market during the months of May and June. II. APRICOTS Table 2: Production, Supply, and Demand (MT) 2010 2011 2012 Estimates Estimates Forecast Apricots 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 19,543 19,595 19,906 Area Harvested 18,549 18,512 18,783 Production 241,243 226,090 245,270 Imports 17,512 23,850 23,900 Total Supply 258,755 249,940 269,170 Exports 23,640 20,550 20,500 Fresh Dom. Consumption 143,443 143,476 155,467 For Processing 91,672 85,914 93,203 Total Distribution 258,755 249,940 269,170 Source: Istat; Italy Fresh Produce Service Centre (CSO); GTA PRODUCTION Italy is the largest apricot producer in the EU-27, followed by France, Greece, and Spain. Italian apricots are mostly grown in Southern Italy and in the northern district of Emilia-Romagna. According to industry estimates, MY 2012 Italian apricot production is forecast to increase by 8 percent compared to the previous year and 11 percent above the 2006-2010 average. Italian apricot area is gradually increasing due to higher profitability (compared to other fruit, such as peaches and nectarines) and growing demand. The apricot harvest begins in June and lasts until July. CONSUMPTION Italian apricots are generally destined for fresh consumption. Approx. 38 percent of apricot production goes to industry to be processed into puree and concentrate. TRADE Italy is a net apricot importer, mainly from France and Spain. Germany and Austria continue to be the main destinations for Italian apricot exports. III. CHERRIES Table 3: Production, Supply, and Demand (MT) 2 010 2011 2012 Estimates Estimates Forecast Cherries 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 30,020 30,207 30,224 Area Harvested 29,248 29,385 29,159 Production 115,476 112,776 111,036 Imports 10,658 10,100 10,000 Total Supply 126,134 122,876 121,036 Exports 6,008 11,400 11,450 Fresh Dom. Consumption 114,352 105,837 104,034 For Processing 5,774 5,639 5,552 Losses & Withdraws 0 0 0 Total Distribution 126,134 122,876 121,036 Source: Istat; GTA PRODUCTION MY 2012 Italian cherry production is forecast to decrease slightly due to unfavorable conditions, with rain causing cracking for early varieties, especially in the areas of Turi (Apulia) and Vignola (Emilia- Romagna). The harvest has begun a little earlier with the Early and Bigarreaux varieties, but rain harmed part of the harvest. Therefore, compared to last year, there will be lower volume, but greater size and good quality. An increasing share of the estimated 30,000 hectares of cherry area is considered unproductive and generally not harvested. Turi (Apulia), Vignola (Emilia-Romagna), Verona (Veneto), and Cuneo (Piedmont) are the main cherry producing areas. CONSUMPTION Italy is generally self-sufficient in cherries, which are consumed mainly fresh. TRADE Germany continues to be the main destination for Italian cherries exports. Italy imports small amounts of cherries from Spain, Turkey, and France. 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
Posted: 10 November 2012

See more from Pome Fruits (such as apples or pears) and Stone Fruits (such as peaches, cherries, etc.) in Italy

Expert Views    
Stone Fruit Annual 2011   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Stone Fruit Annual   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Stone fruit 2011   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Stone Fruit Annual 2012   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Good Prospects for EU-27 Apple and Pear Production   By Foreign Agricultural Service