China drives global peach production boost
Worldwide peach production is expected to rise by 10% in 2011-12 hitting 18.1 million metric tons (MT), driven by increased plantations and yields in China.
A 'Peach Market Profile' report released by Argentina's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MINAGRI) shows the Middle Kingdom accounts for 10 million MT of peaches and nectarines.
China makes up for 63% of global peach crops, while the U.S. and the European Union represent 32% combined.
Exports however are only a very small percentage of total production at 5%, with shipments led by the European Union, the U.S., Chile and China. The report highlights exports from China and Chile have grown, but EU shipments have declined.
The report pointed to a 15% rise in South Africa's exports as well, reaching 1.1 million cartons, with the varieties Transvalia, Rich Lady, San Pedro and Fairtime accounting for 53% of shipments.
MINAGRI also noted Australia's great momentum in size, quality and volume due to winter rains.
As for Argentina, its production is estimated 237,000MT of peaches, of which 88% comes from Mendoza and the rest coming from Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Río Negro, Misiones and Neuquén.
Out of Mendoza's total production, 66% is processed as syrup. Fruit destined for fresh consumption stands at around 81,000MT.
Brazil is Argentina's main peach export destination at 79%, followed by the U.K. (7%), Bolivia (6%) and Spain (2%).
Russia remains the world's top peach importer, followed by the U.S., Canada and the European Union.