Global peach and nectarine supplies to contract in 2020-21
World peach and nectarine production is forecast down 1.1 million metric tons (MT) to 21m MT in the 2020-21 season as adverse weather conditions impact output in top producers China and the European Union.
China production is expected to decline 500,000MT to 14.5 million due to heavy April snow that impacted fruit set in most peach-growing provinces.
Exports are expected to drop one-third to 80,000MT as Russia continues its ban on imports of fruit from China, including stone fruit. China’s third-largest market prior to the ban, Russia initiated the action in August 2019 due to phytosanitary concerns.
China’s imports are forecast up over 40 percent to 38,000MT, reflecting a strong jump in supplies from Chile at the beginning of the marketing year before Covid-19 disruptions impacted shipments.
EU production is forecast to fall over 600,000MT to 3.5m following last year’s near-record supplies, as a variety of damaging weather events affected output in leading producers Spain, Italy, Greece, and France.
Surplus peach production over the last several years has also prompted reductions in planting area in Spain, Italy, and France, with Spain shifting some production towards tree nuts.
Reduced output is projected to lower exports 24,000MT to 155,000 yet lift imports only slightly as demand is met mostly by domestic supplies.
U.S. production is projected to contract 26,000MT to 691,000 as orchards in Colorado and several East Coast states experienced damaging freezes. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) surveyed industry and published the U.S. forecast for peach production in the August 2020 Crop Production report.
Exports are expected to ease 4,000MT to 67,000 on lower shipments to top markets Mexico, Taiwan, and Australia. Imports are also anticipated lower to 33,000MT on reduced shipments from Chile in the beginning of the marketing year.
The United States is now eligible to export nectarines to China, per the U.S.- China Economic and Trade Agreement signed in January 2020. The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) published a list of approved U.S. packing houses on April 26, officially opening the market to U.S.-origin nectarines from five counties in California. Since the publishing of the approved U.S. packing houses, trade data indicates shipments have begun.